Posts Tagged ‘The Atlantic magazine’

The effort to elect a general named ‘Mad Dog’ captures the craziness of the 2016 election

April 12, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
April 12, 2016

More and more political observers expect the Republican National Convention in July to be contested, meaning that businessman Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and possibly others will maneuver, overtly and otherwise, in an attempt to secure the presidential nomination.

The outcome of more than just one political race is at stake — the Republicans’ choice, and the manner in which it is made, could have a major impact on down-ballot races. Some have even speculated that G.O.P. control of both houses of Congress could be at stake, although that’s unlikely to happen in the House of Representatives thanks to gerrymandering. If the decision-making process is particularly acrimonious, some observers suggest, the Republican Party could crack up.

Trump has a numerical advantage in national delegates, but his team’s failure to grasp the fine points of the nomination process is exacting a toll. Last month, Slate’s Josh Voorhees wrote a detailed description of how a contested convention might work. Over the past week, political scientists Norm Ornstein and Francis Wilkinson have written about different possibilities, speculating which nominees might emerge under which scenarios.

The one thing everyone agrees upon is that the chances for turmoil are high. If someone other than Trump or Cruz are chosen (which he doubts will happen), Ornstein wrote, “the upheaval at the convention would probably make Chicago 1968 look like a picnic.” Wilkinson thinks that

[T]he outcome most likely to break the party is the one in which Republican elites crown one of their own. Such a candidate would be perceived as illegitimate — not by every Republican, surely, but by enough Trump and Cruz voters to court disaster.

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Recent Readings for Nov. 19, 2015

November 19, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 19, 2015

• U.S. releases longtime British captive who was never formally charged with wrongdoing. A small step was taken last week to repair the depressing legacy of the invasion of Afghanistan, a war that I consider to have been completely necessary but handled in suboptimal fashion. Gabrielle Bluestone has the (mostly grim) news for Gawker:

Shaker Aamer, a British citizen who spent more than 13 years in Guantanamo Bay, was freed Friday and is reportedly on his way back to London.

Aamer, the last British Gitmo detainee, was captured by the Northern Alliance in 2001 and eventually turned over to the U.S. on allegations that he had worked as an Al Queda operative in London, associated with Osama bin Laden and led a band of Taliban fighters at Tora Bora. Over the next 13 years, the 46-year-old — who says he was in Afghanistan doing charity work — was subjected to waterboarding, force fed through a nasal feeding tube after coordinating a hunger strike, and held in solitary confinement for years. During that time, his six-by-eight-foot cell reportedly had 24 hour exposure to light and constant noise from a nearby generator.

The British House of Commons had unanimously passed a resolution calling for Aamer’s release.

Bluestone notes that 112 captives remain at the American military installation in Guantanamo Bay, of whom only 10 have been charged with a crime.

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