Christian Vanderbrouk/The Bulwark:
They Did This to Themselves
By supporting the Liz Cheney purge and downplaying January 6th, Ron DeSantis and his conservative supporters dug their own hole.
We can stipulate that the team behind Ron DeSantis has done their candidate no favors. But reserve the lion’s share of blame for the conservative movement as a whole, which acceded to the purge of anti-Trump leaders like Liz Cheney and stifled criticism of the January 6th riot.
Understand that very conservative voters still (and will) turn out. it’s just that the rest of the country hates what Republicans are selling.
Dan Balz/Washington Post:
What divides political parties? More than ever, it’s race and ethnicity.
A new report examines political polarization. While acknowledging that anti-democratic impulses among Republicans are most worrisome, it suggests that both parties bear some responsibility for stoking division.
“Religion, economic concerns, and factors like education, age, and gender also divide us politically, but the reality is that as America becomes more diverse, it is also becoming more racially divided in the electoral arena,” Zoltan Hajnal of the University of California at San Diego writes in one chapter in the report.
Lilliana Mason of Johns Hopkins University writes in another chapter of the report, “The process of social sorting allowed the Republican Party to represent the interests of ‘traditional’ white, Christian America while the Democratic Party was increasingly representing those who were still struggling to overturn centuries of social inequality. This type of divide is not easily corrected — Democrats and Republicans have opposing visions of who should hold power in American society and how much progress has already been made.”
It’s both sides’ fault because one party is racist and Christian nationalist, and the other party isn’t. Therefore, they don’t agree.
And that right there is why doing the right thing doesn’t automatically win. See Liz Cheney. And what that means is you need to play politics. From that, it follows that “your side” is going to choose to do things you don’t like while the other side does things you abhor, and/but you’ll still vote for them.
Further, it means campaigns matter, and Biden’s hasn’t started yet while Trump/Fox has never stopped. That’s one of the main reasons to ignore polling right now.
Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post:
I don’t write about polls. You shouldn’t bother with them, either.
You might have noticed that I studiously have avoided dissecting the avalanche of 2024 polls. I don’t plan on deviating from this approach — at least not until mid-2024. And you should consider ignoring the nonstop flood of polling and the rickety analysis dependent on it. Here are five reasons we should all go on a poll-free political diet for at least six months:
Second, voters tell us utterly contradictory things. Around 60 percent tell pollsters that four-time-indicted former president Donald Trump should drop out. But then nearly half say they’ll vote for him. Which is it? There is a hefty amount of research that what voters say they want doesn’t align with how they vote. Whether it is gas prices or the war in Ukraine or the candidates themselves, respondents often give contradictory answers, suggesting they either don’t understand the question, don’t really know what they think or respond based on tribal loyalty.
Donald Ayer/The Atlantic:
Ignore Jack Smith’s Critics
The prosecutions of Donald Trump are something to celebrate, not lament.
Several distinguished individuals have recently expressed grave reservations about the prosecutions of former President Donald Trump. Notably, they appear to have no dispute about the seriousness of his wrongdoing. Rather, their main concern is that “terrible consequences” may result, because the prosecutions “may come to be seen as political trials … and play directly into the hands of Trump and his allies.” Although many Trump supporters will view the situation in just this way, any suggestion that prosecution is therefore unwise misconceives what is at stake here and, sadly, is evidence of America’s diminished national spirit.
Donald Ayer served as United States attorney and principal deputy solicitor general in the Reagan administration and as deputy attorney general under George H. W. Bush.
Jacqueline Alemany/Washington Post:
As GOP investigates prosecutors, experts worry about judicial independence
Investigate the investigator.
That has been the operating thesis of the GOP’s playbook to counter the myriad criminal investigations into Donald Trump, the de facto leader of the Republican Party. Interrogating investigators’ methods and scruples is a strategy that has been utilized by both parties during tumultuous moments, and is a well-worn tool for lawmakers seeking to appease constituents hungry for the appearance of oversight on polarizing issues.
The strategy has been effective in shaping public opinion of the investigations after years of sustained broadsides against the judicial system by Trump and his top allies. A Washington Post-FiveThirtyEight-Ipsos poll last month showed 75 percent of potential Republican primary voters said charges against the former president across various investigations were politically motivated.
The presidential year voters are who campaigns aim at. The occasional voters are in some ways the most interesting, but sometimes they stay at the West Virginia diner and don’t vote at all. That’s where digital campaigns come in (they’re cheaper). But if you want to make a real difference you do this:
Democrats launching $20 million voter registration drive amid race for House control
The $20 million voter registration effort comes as Democrats look to retake control of the House in 2024.
A non-profit aligned with House Democrats is kicking off a $20 million voter registration drive focusing on key regions and voters in the battle for the House majority next year.
House Majority Forward announced the $20 million investment, which it called it’s “initial” commitment, Tuesday. It’ll target young, Black, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander and Native American voters, and will take place in areas home to key House districts including:
- The Des Moines, Iowa area
- New York’s Hudson Valley, Long Island, Southern Tier and Syracuse metro area
- Northern Virginia
- Various regions in Michigan
- Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area
- Various parts of Michigan including Flint, the middle of the state, the Lansing area and part of the Detroit metro area
Bill Scher/Washington Monthly:
Ageist Attacks Aren’t New in Presidential Campaigns, And They Haven’t Worked
Republicans are gleeful, and Democrats are worried about Biden’s age. But such attacks on White House contenders go back to antebellum days and rarely draw blood.
He is “both physically and intellectually incompetent to perform the many, varied, arduous, and important duties which must devolve upon every President of the United States.”
No, that’s not a Republican politician attacking Joe Biden. That’s an attack by a Democratic politician on William Henry Harrison, the 1840 Whig Party nominee.
Harrison was, at the time, the oldest presidential candidate ever. According to historian Ronald G. Shafer in his book, The Carnival Campaign, Democrats embarked on a “whispering campaign hinting that the old general, at age sixty-seven, was in such poor health that he might not survive the campaign.” (He would die days after his inauguration, but most likely from contaminated water, not old age.)
Democratic newspapers dubbed him “Old Granny Harrison.” One polemicist for a Baltimore rag sought to deride the former Territory of Indiana Governor and Ohio Senator as an aging drunk but famously missed the target: “Give him a barrel of hard cider and settle a pension of two thousand a year on him and, my word for it, he will sit the remainder of his days in a log cabin by the side of a ‘sea coal’ fire and study moral philosophy.” The Whigs turned “Log Cabin and Hard Cider” into a popular campaign slogan, painting Harrison as an authentic everyman.
Republicans aren’t so gleeful after Mitch McConnell’s health issues and Donald Trump’s hamburder lifestyle.
Adam Bass/Ordinary Times:
Let Joe Biden Be Joe Biden: Voter Reactions To President Biden’s Events
However, something changes when you put Biden in front of a campaign crowd and give him a portable microphone.
The octogenarian President moves to make wisecracks, becomes louder and prouder of his accomplishments, jabs at former president Donald Trump, and even jokes about his most vulnerable attribute.
When I watched Biden make a Labor Day stop in Philadelphia, PA, I was taken aback by his mannerisms and almost felt like I was watching a 2012 stump speech.
And I was not the only one who noticed this either.
I showed the video of Biden at the event to several of my colleagues and my peers around 25 years of age — many of them worried about his age and mental acuity.
Many seemed impressed with his cadence and energy at the Labor Day event.
“It reminds me of when he was Vice President,” one said on the condition of anonymity. “I want to see more of this Biden.”
To see if this was consistent, I conducted a focus group.
Dan Kaufman/New Yorker:
The Wisconsin G.O.P.’s Looming Judicial Attack
A state Supreme Court justice—recently elected in a landslide—may be impeached before she ever hears a case.
Republicans in the Assembly, who have sixty-four of the chamber’s ninety-nine seats, need only a simple majority to impeach Protasiewicz. A trial would then be held in the Senate, which requires a vote with a two-thirds majority—the exact proportion currently held by Republicans—to convict. If Protasiewicz is impeached, she would be barred from performing her duties while awaiting the trial. Some political observers have suggested that the Senate may delay holding one, which would leave Protasiewicz powerless and the court ideologically deadlocked. Others have suggested that Republicans may try to convict her by December 1st; Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, could appoint a replacement—who would serve only until the next judicial election, which is in April, on the same date as the state’s Republican Presidential primary. (If Protasiewicz is convicted after December 1st, a replacement would serve until 2031.)
Robert Yablon, a professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has examined judicial impeachments across the country, has found no record of any judge in American history being impeached for failing to recuse herself owing to campaign activities, including statements made on the trail. He noted a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court case, whose majority opinion was written by Antonin Scalia, that gives wide latitude to judicial candidates to speak on political issues. Nor has Yablon found a judge who has been removed before hearing a single case. “This is a very vivid illustration of the kind of minoritarian rule that a gerrymander can get you,” he said.