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A Reply to EW ...


Frankly, I use the same analogy all the time: For most people, the best equivalent of politics is the NHL. No one is paying attention to it until the finals. Now, that said, there is a segment of the public that loves hockey, can describe who has the best players in the world, knows who Don Cherry is, and is facile with different styles of play. But they are a small minority of the total.

I think the policy issues will be a secondary player, unless the candidate is self-described socialist Bernie Sanders, than the volume of noise/disinformation. We can anticipate a steady, high volume stream of insults, lies, half-truths, etc from which the press will be unable to do anything but report them and amplify the message. I have decided to look at the candidates through that lens and to see who can not only respond in real time but punch back to put Trump off kilter. I like most of our candidates, I am fine with the policy preferences of our candidates, but I am not sure I see a super effective campaign ready to kick some ass. Except from Bloomberg. He can do it. He isn’t that charismatic, he is too nanny-statish, and he doesn’t jibe well with the entire Democratic coalition (to say the least), but I think the NRA would crap its pants if he were the nominee. I think the gas and coal crowd would do the same. That’s something I’d like to see.

I really didn’t think that this moment called for another billionaire. But, I’ll take any person who can take to Trump in a way to put him off balance and dominate him in Trump’s self-perceived areas of strength.

I will let JB speak for himself. But as a general matter I agree that the fact that Bernie Sanders may be middle of the road in the context of other countries I don’t think really tells us anything. That is not a nationalist comment just a factual one. Other countries have different politics, different policy baselines that separate the right and left.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.