Minivet writes: Forthcoming law paper making the case that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is broad and self-executing--enough so that Trump already is barred from public office and has been since January 6th.
Both professors are conservative Federalist Society members, and the paper has been lauded by its co-founder Steven Calabresi. Not sure if there's some 11 dimensional chess going on there.
Tying together all of these different procedures and possibilities: consider briefly (and not-so-hypothetically) a violent insurrection on the seat of government, by a mob joined or given aid and comfort by various government officials, from a state representative or commissioner to a U.S. Senator to the President himself. From the moment of their participation in the insurrection, those officials would be legally ineligible to hold their offices, thanks to Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. How this would play out practically might vary across them. As the state official returned home, he would immediately be subject to state law procedures such as a quo warranto suit. He might be removed by such a suit, or might well choose to resign instead. The Senator might choose to brazen it out, counting on the difficulty in getting together a two-thirds vote to expel him. But if he sought re-election the Senate could and should exclude him by a mere majority vote. As for the hypothetical President, by right he ought to be immediately subject to impeachment and conviction by Congress, and perhaps also a Twenty-fifth Amendment declaration by the Vice President and supported by the cabinet. Even if those things did not happen, if he sought re-election, state election officials around the country would be bound by Section Three in deciding whether to put him on the ballot, even in the primary.
None of that logic creates any kind of easy path for it to be enforced, but what if, say, Michigan decides it is obligated to? And what will SCOTUS say if the case makes it to them?
Heebie's take: I can't imagine this getting traction, and I think in part because the media would cover it the way they covered HRC. "Michigan says Trump in invalid, but This Importantly Random Country Boy in North Florida asserts otherwise. Who can say! We spent a week in a diner to find out." The media would cover it like liberal overreach. I don't know why, but that's my gut instinct.
I've posted this exact topic before. It's a little hollow to write about one's despair over the thing, instead of the thing itself. But it is all just so grim.
I can imagine being a hospice worker without being decimated by despair, because you can process the end of the lives of individuals in philosophical terms about how it's irrefutable that we all will die, and the good you're doing by accompanying the individual and family. (I can't imagine the chores and medical side of it, but I can imagine the emotional side of it.)
We're being asked to be hospice workers for the environment, and to just mitigate the damage done by natural disasters, and try to slow down the destruction. But there's no couching it philosophically in terms of life cycles and what's natural. There's no silver lining that I can hang on to. Somehow humans are built to destroy ourselves.
I think the only mental solutions are to:
1. compartmentalize, and
2. zoom in to your local details
But then you're complicit! Argh. Rinse, recycle, repeat.
E. Messily sends along San Franciscans Are Having Sex in Robotaxis, and Nobody Is Talking About It.
Now, I'm sure every cabbie has plenty of stories of blowjobs and mountings in their cabs, but I have a suspicion which this article doesn't quite confirm: that the robotaxi can function as a destination to get it on - deliberately hiring a robotaxi to circle the block for 30 minutes - in a way that most people are not quite bold enough to say to a cabbie in person.
Unfortunately for the debaucherous among us, robotaxi companies currently use pretty extensive camera surveillance inside and outside of their cars.
"We record video inside of the car for added safety and support," Cruise states on its website. "If something happened during your ride, we might review the recording to better understand what happened. We only record audio during active support calls."
What a time to be alive.
Has everyone waited politely for me to post a thread before beginning your discussion?
NickS writes: We have had some previous discussions about specific pundits, and that prompted me to think more systematically about what is the role of a pundit (for these purposes, a generalist who writes about politics and public policy), and how we might categorize the role they play and whether they do it well or poorly.
I found it helpful to loosely divide it into roles that do not depend on audience size (the sorts of things one could just as easily get from an eclectic web magazine as the NYT) and roles that depend on having a large platform.
In the former category a pundit can entertain the reader and make them better informed. That can include offering unique insights or analysis; providing original information, popularizing or summarizing ideas from other people; acting as a guide to help identify good and bad arguments and sources of information or, finally, serving as a model who demonstrates how to construct a good political argument or how to engage with a range of possible counter-arguments.
Obviously the primary benefit of doing that well is educating the reader; the harm of doing it poorly is leaving the reader with an incorrect understanding of politics or policy (which frequently takes the form treating conventional wisdom as factually correct regardless of whether or not it is).
In the latter category we have: Actively advocating for specific policies or candidates; publicize specific people or organizations; popularizing a vocabulary or conceptual framework for understanding politics and policies; providing a reference point that helps readers locate themselves within the political spectrum; or serving as a reference point that helps other political actors informally coordinate or anticipate how their preferences will be received by potential partners.
Many of those items involve participating in the setting of priorities within the political system. Done well, this can be an important check on people's tendency towards motivated reasoning and everybody's inclination towards "the pundits fallacy" (the belief that one's personal political preferences are obviously politically popular). One the negative side many pundits often end up promoting a specific set of personal obsessions that may not deserve to be prioritized.
In both categories we can see the ways in which a generalist who writes broadly may have advantages over a specialist, but also the ways in which that can become problematic.
I'm curious what people think. Is there any need for a taxonomy of punditry? Does that make sense as a broad summary? Are there other things to add? Are there specific people who are a good example of how to perform those roles well (or poorly)?
Addendum, in that framework we can see that MattY's answer to a question about promoting David French is framed in terms of the second category -- helping people position themselves within the US political spectrum.
Heebie's take: For starters, I am really enjoying the notion that I am part of the pundritry.
My role is clearly to provide an entertaining but overly simplistic description of a phenomenon, just enough to irk everyone into writing out the more nuanced explanation in the comments. So in the taxonomy, I am a saddle burr.