Two by Josh Marshall this morning. First, on how Donald Trump has got the Republican National Committee chair near apoplexy:
If you're someone of [RNC chair Reince] Priebus' relative stature, approaching someone of Trump's arrogance and buffoonery, who is insulated from all of the pressures usually used to bring politicians to heel, you're not going to say, "Dude, STFU or else." I think you're probably to say something like "Dude, you're killing it. You've really struck a nerve. But a party can only handle so much of your awesomeness at once. Let's try to tone this down a bit."
The issue of course is that Trump has struck a nerve. It's not just his ability to get on TV or his (in political terms) limitless money. Trump's tirades against Mexicans have juiced his popularity among Republican primary voters, which is to say that his clown show has highlighted the fact that a lot of core Republican base voters are themselves hostile to immigrants and particularly ones from Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.
This does not detract one bit from the hypothesis that Trump is literally a clown. The more popular he becomes within the GOP, the more popcorn I reach for.
Then there's the hard-working Jeb Bush, who has hardly worked in his life and said yesterday that people need to work harder:
It goes without saying that it's probably not good politics to say your plan to move the country forward is that everyone needs to work longer hours. It approaches 47% level toxicity. Even more damning is that it makes zero sense in policy terms. Indeed, Jeb's 'work harder' prescription provides harrowing look at the level of derp that can be produced when you take a guy who isn't all that bright and push him to the head of the national leadership line without ever having put in an honest day's work or support himself in his life.
It's unclear to me whether Bush doesn't even fully understand the policies his advisors are trying to explain to him or whether this is just standard patrician work ethic morality. Whichever it is, the real structural problem in our economy is stagnant wages for more than a generation for most of the population. ... There's a decent argument that people working longer hours is the problem; it's definitely not the solution.
That sounds right. In fact, there's a good argument that a shorter work-week could help (says Forbes, Forbes I tell you!). But that doesn't fit with right-wing beliefs about working people, so as long as they have a majority in Congress, let's party like it's 1899.