Smart Ideas: Why It Will Never Be Weld's Time

Plus: Congress's misplaced education priorities.

Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld greets supporters at his election night party in Albuquerque, N.M. on Nov. 8, 2016.
AP Photo/Juan Labreche
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April 18, 2019, 8 p.m.

Trump’s GOP opponents want a disciplined Trumpist, not a moderate

Damon Linker, writing for The Week

Moderate potential challengers to Trump, such as John Kasich, Larry Hogan, and the recently declared Bill Weld, are doomed to fail. “The only kind of Republican who would have a shot of defeating the president in a primary would be a more competent Trumpist than Trump himself.” The party at large is “thrilled with his administration's commitment to cutting taxes and regulations, appointing conservative judges and Supreme Court justices, pulling back from our overseas obligations, and ‘triggering the libs’ on every possible front of the culture war”; what they want is someone who will do that and shoot himself in the foot less, not a pro-choice libertarian like Weld.

Congress misspending education funds

Richard D. Kahlenberg, Halley Potter, and Kimberly Quick, writing for The Atlantic

Congress has spent “far more money into racially and economically segregated schools than they have invested in trying to integrate them. And the imbalance keeps getting worse. Today the federal government’s main tool for promoting integration is the aid it provides to magnet schools, which offer specialized academic programs to attract a racially and economically diverse student body,” which gets less than 1 percent of the funds that poor school districts in the Title I “compensatory education” program receive. Having school integration be “little more than a rounding error in the nation’s education budget defies decades of research suggesting that socioeconomic and racial integration is one of the most effective strategies for improving outcomes for disadvantaged students."

High-education vs. high-information

Nate Silver, writing for FiveThirtyEight

“If education is correlated with informedness, then performing well among college-educated voters could be a bullish sign” for someone like Pete Buttigieg, who is enjoying a glut of media attention. Buttigieg overperforms “among highly educated Democrats,” who tend to be higher-information voters who are “more likely to vote—and they may be leading indicators for how other voters behave once they acquire more information" as the cycle develops. "Maybe, for instance, high-information voters like Warren for her wonky policy proposals, while low-information voters don’t have much of an impression beyond that she’s a liberal woman from Massachusetts who flubbed some DNA test—but they’ll come around once they learn more.”

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg during a town-hall meeting Tuesday in Fort Dodge, Iowa. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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