Here's why conservatives really oppose federal aid for the 'undeserving'

There is a singular and profound question that tugs at the sleeve of even the most sober analyst pondering the federal response to coronavirus. To wit, what the hell is it with these people? Although he's since backed off the proposal Michael Gerson couldn't figure out why Trump would decide to re-open the nation on Easter:

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The man who hoarded 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer did nothing wrong ― and that's the problem

Matt Colvin got thoroughly roasted on the internet this past weekend. Twitter was strewn with quote-tweets denouncing the high immorality of a man stockpiling 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer, intending to sell it at a big markup on ebay and Amazon.

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From licking floors to praying for an inept government: America's churches react to the coronavirus

It's particularly important for churches that continue to meet during the COVID-19 pandemic to follow the guidelines laid out by health experts given that worship services are among the largest regular gatherings in modern society, among the most physically intimate, and likely include the greatest number of vulnerable people. Even single members of large congregations can have a dramatic effect on how coronavirus spreads or doesn't, as South Korea found out the hard way.

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Watching the Trump admin's coronavirus response is like watching a bumbling cult

I want to say that reading this Politico piece on the Trump administration's predictably botched response to the emerging coronavirus pandemic puts me in mind of a cult organization. I want to, but that's probably a slight against cults, many of which have more sophisticated emotional dynamics, organizational skills, and fashion sense than the Dollar General-meets-Versailles gang currently occupying the White House.

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The most important religious category of the primaries doesn't break down as cleanly as you think

It's been noted that Bernie Sanders' youth revolution failed him on Super Tuesday. It's not so much that young voters stayed home, contrary to the headline on at least one article. In real numbers, more young voters turned out this year than in 2016 in most states. (The two exceptions were Alabama and, embarrassingly, Vermont.) But because so many older voters surged to the polls, the youth vote dropped as a percentage; in other words, its rate of growth didn't keep up that of older voters. Appropriately enough, Teen Vogue put it best:

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Democratic candidates don't need to get more religious -- they just need to get known

I would urge anyone reading this headline to take it with a large grain of salt: "Most Americans Don't See Democratic Candidates As Very Religious." Like many such stories, it's true enough: 56% of Americans polled by the Pew Research Center think that Joe Biden is very or somewhat religious. It goes downhill from there: 36% for Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders 34%, Pete Buttigieg 32%.

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How the religious vote in 2020 could tip 6 swing states

Let's look at the bad news from this Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) tracking survey first: despite remarkably lousy-but-stable favorability numbers (41% approve, 55% disapprove), Pres. Trump has a strong chance of being re-elected in November, unless the situation changes significantly between now and then.

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The case for keeping the Trump investigations coming

How many times have you heard it said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged"? It's certainly true that there's some value in withholding unnecessary criticism, especially when you have a two-by-eight sticking out of your eye socket. No one, let me assure you, is perfect. Therefore, no one is in an absolute position to pass judgment on others.

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The 'pro-life swing voter' some moderate Democrats chase is a myth

A thing that I do not understand is why journalists assume that Democratic presidential candidates absolutely must respond to pro-life activists, or deal with The Abortion Problem. I sometimes think it's because they teach you in journalism school that every four years Swing Voters sprout from the earth like cicadas demanding propitiation. And if the Swing Voters are not sufficiently placated, all manner of hell will break loose, like Swing Voters clinging to God & guns or refusing to speak to responsible centrist journalists in Midwestern diners so the poor scribblers can't expense their rice pudding. Things happen!

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Pete Buttigieg: Citing 'Matthew 25' isn't a viable Democratic faith outreach strategy

John Stoehr, who has been one of my favorite political commentators for a while now, went ding-an-sich in yesterday's column, discussing the difference between politics itself and the way we talk about politics. "It’s good to step back and talk about how we talk about politics," Stoehr says, "especially given that how we talk about politics is often as real as Santa Claus and unicorns."

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Amy Klobuchar feeds trolls with pro-life 'big tent' talk

Of course some Democrat took the bait from the Dems-for-Life types, because of course they did, and of course it was Amy Klobuchar, because... of course:

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New research may explain the weakness of centrism and the religious left

A new profile of the wonderfully foul-mouthed political scientist and rising election prognisticator Rachel Bitecofer describes her theories about voting as "unsettling," and there's no question that they've been received that way by many. They certainly have caused a stir.

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Did Romney cynically cite his Mormon faith for the Trump impeachment vote as critics claim?

So it turns out that at least some Republican leaders only care about faith when it moves the needle in their direction. Mitt Romney claimed that his Mormon faith had a lot to do with his vote to convict Pres. Trump on the first article of impeachment—abuse of power:

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Nihilism-on-meth: The surprising key to understanding Trump and his Christian enablers

Last night President Trump gave his State of the Union address, the night before his expected acquittal in a sham impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. To paraphrase Dylan, you gotta belong to somebody, and I at least would like it to be someone better than a walking avatar of nihilism.

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It's white evangelicals -- and white evangelicals only -- who are crazy about Trump

A smidge under a half-dozen items at the intersection of religion and politics for your enjoyment and edification. - eds

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