Can Government Regain the Consent of the Governed?

Isaiah Berlin, one of the twentieth century’s greatest thinkers. believed that “the central question of politics [is] the question of obedience and coercion.” At its most basic level, the scholar framed the question like this: “Why should I (or anyone) obey anyone else?”

That question goes right to the core of discussions about how a government can earn the legitimacy it needs to function. It’s the question our Founders had in mind when they said that governments derive their only just authority from the consent of the governed. It’s a question that needs to be asked at a time when a majority of Americans view both leading presidential candidates unfavorably.

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Trump vs. Clinton: Electoral College Edition

Now that we’re almost certain to have a fall match-up between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, it’s time for an early look at the Electoral College. This only matters, of course, if the election is close. But, if that turns out to be the case, Trump has an uphill path to victory.

In 2012, Mitt Romney won 206 Electoral College votes. Trump needs all of those plus 64 more to win the White House. Can he do it? I looked at some key states with Abby Huntsman on Fox and Friends First and also with Steve Doocy on Fox and Friends.

Trump Has Conquered the GOP: Now What?

In 2008 and 2012, John McCain and Mitt Romney were not the top choice for most Republicans. Many GOP voters agonized about whether they should hold their nose and vote for a candidate they disliked. The winners of those battles warned the disenchanted voters that failure to fall in line would help the Democrats.

The same process has begun in 2016 now that Donald Trump is the party’s presumptive nominee. The same old questions are being asked about whether the party can heal its wounds and unite. However, there is one huge difference. In previous battles, the disenfranchised voters were little known members of the party base. This time the shoe is on the other foot and the party leaders are getting a taste of their own medicine.

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The Story of 2016: Trump and Sanders

Last August, I wrote a column claiming that “Among many voters in both parties, the possibility of a Bush-Clinton election is more frightening than a choice between Trump and Sanders.”

Like just about every other analyst at the time, I didn’t think Trump would actually win the nomination, but I recognized the powerful message that voters were sending. And, the conclusion seems just as appropriate today as it did last summer. “Whatever happens, the current support for Trump and Sanders is a serious demand for change. The political class is not yet taking it seriously.”

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Talking About Indiana

As political junkies know by now, the Indiana Republican Primary could be Ted Cruz’s last stand. See my Fox and Friends First interview discussing what’s at stake with Abby Huntsman.

Bottom line is simple. If Trump wins it’s over. If he doesn’t, we’re in a brave new world and need to recalculate. As I write this, the Prediction Markets give Cruz a 5% chance of winning.

The Pence Endorsement and Delegate Math

The news that Indiana Governor Mike Pence has endorsed Ted Cruz probably suggests that Cruz’s prospects for winning the Hoosier State have improved in recent days. It’s also an indicator of just how important Tuesday’s primary has become. There’s no doubt Pence would have preferred to sit this one out, but the stakes are enormous.

If Donald Trump wins Indiana, he will be the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. If Ted Cruz wins Indiana, the campaign will continue. And, it will continue in several states that Cruz can expect to win.

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How Many Unbound Delegates Can Trump Win

If Donald Trump loses Indiana next Tuesday, we may be heading to a very close battle at the Republican Convention in Cleveland. In that case, every delegate would count. Lost amidst all the hubbub of the primary season is the fact that over 200 delegates are potentially unbound. But they’re not generally from places very friendly to Donald Trump. I discussed these delegates with Abby Huntsman on Fox and Friends First this morning. Then, later, with Steve Doocy on Fox and Friends.

The bonus for me was walking back in the green room after my second or third hit. Marilu Henner was chatting about my segment. It’s always a bit strange meeting a celebrity crush from your youth, but she was very nice. Marilu has a book out talking about how she helped her husband win his battle with cancer.