Out on a Limb

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on May 18, 2016

Out on a Limb

Venezuela's socialist president Nicholas Maduro.

The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at The Wall Street Journal written by the editor, James Taranto.

Cause and Effect

  • “Liberals Outnumber Conservatives as College Commencement Speakers 4 to 1”—headline, Washington Examiner, May 11
  • “Please Don’t Vote for Trump, College Commencement Speakers Beg”—headline, Huffington Post, May 16

Other Than That, the Story Was Innocuous
“Editors Note: This story was edited slightly from its original version to remove certain potentially offensive language”—Mediaite, May 14

Out on a Limb

  • “Top Republicans Say Donald Trump is Changing the Political Playbook”—headline, The Wall Street Journal, May 16
  • “U.S. Intelligence Officials: Venezuela Could Be Headed for Collapse”—headline, Washington Post, May 14

Paul Waldman Is Not Sexist. Really. You Gotta Believe Him.
“Sorry, Liberals,” declares the headline of a post at the Washington Post’s Plum Line blog. “Elizabeth Warren Isn’t Going to Be Hillary Clinton’s Running Mate.” The post’s author, Paul Waldman, offers three reasons, of which the middle one caught our attention: “Second, picking Warren would make for a historic all-female ticket, and that could be a risk.”

Can you believe Waldman would say something so sexist and offensive? Just kidding—there’s nothing sexist or (to use a term from the Post stylebook) “objectively offensive” about Waldman’s rather obvious observation. But read the rest of his paragraph:

To be clear, it’s ludicrous that there should be something troubling to anyone about having two women running together. After all, we’ve had over a hundred all-male tickets in our history, and only two with one man and one woman. But there could well be some number of voters—how many is difficult to tell—who would vote for Clinton with a male running mate, but would find Clinton with a female running mate just too much to handle. It’s sexist, but Clinton is going to need the votes of people who have some sexism somewhere in their hearts, just like Barack Obama needed the votes of people with some racism somewhere in their hearts.

He’s so worried someone might think him sexist that he spends 115 words insisting he’s not, yielding an overlong paragraph with an SVS ratio (substance to virtue signaling) of less than 0.14. …

For more “Best of the Web” from The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto click here.