The Right to Rise PAC, dedicated to electing Jeb Bush President, is mulling a $75 million ad blitz at Mr. Bush's Republican opponents not named Trump, so that Mr. Bush can, perhaps, be the Last Man Standing against Mr. Trump. Two observations: one, $75 million could pay 1,250 people $50,000 plus health care benefits for one year (I'm allotting $10,000 per head for the health insurance). Two, spending $75 million just to cut down Cruzrubioetal is a pretty sad statement on campaign finance, and saying "I'm not these guys" or "I'm not Trump" doesn't fix Mr. Bush's main problem -- that he can't get anyone to vote for him by saying "I am Jeb Bush."
Scroll down in this All Things Considered interview with former Bush Mobb media maven Mark McKinnon and you'll find this nugget: "(t)here's just very little return on media dollars anymore in politics because people just don't believe political advertising. They're just demanding authenticity and something that they think is real, and they know that advertising is not real." While you're certainly better off (both morally and pragmatically!) spending money on getting out the vote, I don't think people are anywhere near as on their guard about political ads as Mr. McKinnon thinks. A good ad about a good candidate can still win hearts and minds. Problem might be that Republicans have nothing but bad candidates, and thus will have to spend a lot of money papering over that hole.
Charlie Cook tells us that "independents" really aren't that independent -- that the vast majority of "independent" voters who lean one way or another vote that way or other. But I think Mr. Cook understates the case a bit, if anything -- so, so many obviously reactionary people have described themselves as "independent" over the last dozen years or so that you'd be right to suspect the road to hell is paved with their skulls.
David Brooks at the New York Times tells us that Donald Trump isn't going to be the nominee because primary voters are going to think a lot more about it between now and their primaries. Pink rug metaphor aside, I get where Mr. Brooks is coming from, and I hope he's right (and who has ever said that before?). But I still think he's confusing the kind of fellow he is with the kind of folks Trump voters are, not that he's ever alone in making that mistake. And as I said before, counting on Democrats to hesitate before voting for Howard Dean in 2004, when Democratic primary voters are often reasonable to a fault, is a whole different thing than counting on rabid, rage-filled Republican primary voters to hesitate about Mr. Trump.
Finally, The Guardian profiles Debbie Dooley, a founding director of the Tea Party Patriots who has hit a Damascus moment over her staunch support for solar energy in Florida.. Many corporate Tea Party backers oppose solar, for reasons you can imagine. I'm always hoping that more Tea Partiers see the light, and I don't need for them to renounce conservatism, certainly -- as Ms. Dooley instructs us, there is no natural opposition between conservatism and solar power, only between corporatism and solar power, or partisanship and solar power. I wish her the best in her effort to bring more solar power to good Floridians.