Democrats Are Running as Opposition Party
Plus, The Unpresidential Vulgarity of ‘Let’s Go Brandon’
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: What The Right's Embrace of Orbán Tells Us🔐
SONNY BUNCH: Streaming Is a Black Hole of Financial Loss and ‘Bullet Train’ Review.
SECRET POD: Yin and Yang.
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JOHN J. PITNEY, JR.: Democrats Are Running as Opposition Party
In a typical midterm election, the party not holding the presidency casts itself as a check on the incumbent administration, even more so when the president’s party controls both chambers of Congress. The elections of 1994, 2006, 2010, and 2018 all started with unified government and all ended with the out-party winning control of the House (and the Senate in 1994).
The in-party has never been able to wear the “check and balance” mantle—until this year. During the 2022 midterm, there are a couple of ways in which the Democratic appeal is essentially that they will act as a counterweight against an out-of-step Republican party.
The first involves the Supreme Court. Historically we refer to the legislative and executive as the “political branches,” as opposed to the supposedly apolitical judiciary. The general public no longer sees the Court that way. In a Quinnipiac University survey, 63 percent of voters agreed that “the Supreme Court is mainly motivated by politics.” And a Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that 74 percent of adults say the Court has become “too politicized.”
On the weekend pod: Alex Jones’ bad week was cathartic, Orban’s a troll, and Biden delivers on bipartisanship. Plus, Tim issues a correction for overstating Hawley’s manliness, and even Trump thinks Kari Lake takes the election stuff too far. Tim Miller’s back with Charlie Sykes.
A.B. Stoddard helps analyze the primary election results and also the 2024 question: If not Biden, who?
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BILL LUEDERS: The Unpresidential Vulgarity of ‘Let’s Go Brandon’.
My friend Donald Trump emailed me the other day with what he called “an exciting announcement”:
“I designed a BRAND NEW HAT, and I want YOU to see it first.”
The hat that the former president personally designed and is now offering exclusively to ME delivers a crisp three-word message: “Let’s Go Brandon!” It is, the email subject line announced, “Guaranteed to trigger the Libs.” And it can be all mine if, within the next hour, I donate $45 or more to his Save America joint fundraising committee.
Initially, I believed this calculatedly offensive hat was new to Trump’s merch collection because I had not seen it offered before. But a search of an email folder called “Trash,” to which I have various items automatically directed, revealed that he has previously offered me the same item several times since early July, and perhaps sooner, but these messages had been whisked away before I came across them.
BILL COBERLY: The Warrior-Cop Ethos and the Stand-Around Cops in Uvalde.
In the ten weeks since the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, each new disclosure has cast the responding officers in a worse light. First, police claimed that a school resource officer engaged the shooter before he entered the building; no such thing occurred. Then came the footage of parents being restrained by men in tactical gear outside as their children were killed within. Doors that were supposedly locked turned out to have been unlocked the whole time; requested firepower was on site sooner than spokespeople recollected. But the simplest distillation of the scandal is a matter of mathematics: It took 75 minutes for some of the 376 law enforcement officers who arrived at the scene to enter the classroom and kill the shooter, who had by that time murdered nineteen children and two teachers without being properly engaged by the police.
It’s not that American officers are gun-shy, exactly. Over 1,000 people have been shot and killed by police in the United States in the past year. Police forces across the country are being militarized—Uvalde, which is a town of 15,000, did much to advertise its own SWAT team—and new recruits are increasingly being trained into a violent paradigm that requires them to habituate themselves to the act of killing until they are ready to do so at a moment’s notice. Gone are the days of officers who aspire to resemble Mayberry’s Andy Taylor, the idealized small-town policeman who strolled his beat without so much as a holstered sidearm on his hip. Instead, we live in the age of the heavily armed and armored “warrior cop,” who may avail himself of virtually any pretense to end your life with impunity.
Happy Friday! Storms are on the horizon, a bunk bed is on the way (along with some pizza), and we’re having a movie party instead of watching CPAC. It’s not exactly a kid-friendly event.
Earlier, I did some work from nature at the Izaak Walton League and took area dogs out to enjoy some new smells. It’s near the Alvictus CIA safe house, which has an interesting history.
A great jobs report. Expectations were blown out of the water. Some people are worried that the numbers are “too good.” Whatever that means.
Raphael Warnock and getting stuff done. An interesting profile at Politico about the preacher-turned-Senator. Among members of the CBC, his demeanor and kindness have always reminded of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).
What is “Dark Brandon?” The liberal response to the right’s Let’s Go Brandon meme (highlighted above) goes into some, indeed, dark places. Memes are weird!
The craziest read you’ll spend an hour on all day. I don’t know who Ezra Miller is. The Flash movie he’s in, I’ve never heard about (because most movies based on comics don’t appeal to me) is not one I planned to see. But I have heard bits and pieces of this story because it is so… bizarre. Buckle up, this story’s all kinds of weird.
The trolling continues.
Klein told French news outlet Le Point that his intention had been to educate people about fake news online, adding that “I also think that if I hadn't said it was a James Webb photo, it wouldn't have been so successful.”
Betting on Watson was doomed from the start. I could have theorized this to Jimmy Haslam but apparently he doesn’t surround himself with people who like to poke holes before they agree to give somebody a quarter of a billion dollars.
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