Meet the Republican Anti-Ukraine Caucus!
Plus, why the Democrats need to get better at politics, and fast.
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WILL SALETAN: Who’s Soft on Russia? Meet the Republican Anti-Ukraine Caucus!
The other side of the equation is the near-unanimity of support among Democrats, even from very progressive members, for standing up to Russia. Leftist Democrats generally oppose armed intervention, yet nearly all of them voted for sanctions against Russia and military aid for Ukraine. Why is that?
It’s because they recognize the war as a showdown between right and wrong. “We have to hold Putin accountable,” Pressley told her constituents at a town hall last week. Ocasio-Cortez, at her own town hall, applauded President Biden for refusing to be “walked over” by Putin. And in a progressive teleconference on the Ukraine crisis, Lee endorsed “security and military assistance” to the Ukrainians because “we’ve got to help them defend themselves.”
Many of the 21 House Republicans, however, don’t see it that way. They’ve swallowed a cocktail of isolationism, defeatism, partisan paranoia, and Russian disinformation. Here are the main pillars of their reasoning…
Polls show independents think Democrats are condescending and out of touch. The best way to blow up the caricature? Go on Fox News and talk to them. Pete Buttigieg campaign alum Lis Smith joins Charlie Sykes today with some advice for the midterms.
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MONA CHAREN: Democrats Need to Get Better at Politics—Fast.
There’s a bit of a family debate at The Bulwark regarding what Democrats should do to improve their electoral prospects. Some of us join Democrats like Ruy Tuxiera of the Liberal Patriot and William Galston and Elaine Kamarck in the belief that if Democrats want to climb out of the hole they’re in, they should disabuse themselves of several myths, such as that people of color will reliably vote D or that turnout is the magic bullet, and pivot hard to the center.
Others disagree. Observing yet another Big Lie-proselytizing, Ivermectin-hawking, full-on Trump cultist running for office—this time for Wisconsin attorney general—Jonathan V. Last marvels that “somehow the problem is Democrats being out of step?” Why, he asks, does no one ever say “Republicans Have to Stop Acting Crazy or Voters Will Punish Them?”
It is a challenge of our time that one party—or at least a significant chunk of it—has become deranged. Many Republicans believe that the 2020 election was stolen, that COVID restrictions were fascism, that January 6 was a false flag operation by the “deep state,” and so on, and yet it is the Democrats who are perceived as out of the mainstream. How can that be? The majority of the country believes in none of those demented ideas, and in normal times, the very craziness of the GOP would repel voters.
KELSA PELLETTIERE: The Worldly Ben Franklin.
Burns and his commentators show us how Franklin became internationally famous for his experiments with electricity and eventually traveled to England to represent Pennsylvania as a colonial agent. He spent most of the years from 1757 to 1774 in England. Toward the end of that period, as tensions grew between England and its North American colonies, Franklin represented three other colonies in England as well—and he found himself hindered in his goal of having Pennsylvania made a royal colony to rid the people of its proprietors, the tax-dodging Penn family. Burns does a good job of showing how Franklin, stuck between wanting to keep the colonies a part of the British Empire and wanting to support them against the growing restrictions placed on them by Parliament, coped with the crisis as it evolved—climaxing in a depiction, at the end of the first episode, of the incident in which Franklin was dressed down by a British official before the Privy Council in the Whitehall Cockpit. Forced to choose, Franklin sided with the Americans.
The Revolutionary War begins early in Burns’s second episode. “It’s hard to understand why [Franklin] even joined the Revolution,” historian Gordon Wood says—after all, Franklin was already successful and an old man: “Many of the 62 other delegates [to the Continental Congress] had not even been born when he first entered political life forty years earlier,” the narrator tells us. It’s not hard, however, to understand why Franklin joined the cause, since his Privy Council humiliation broke his last ties to the Empire. Still, it was not humanly easy: Franklin’s failure to reconcile the familial ties between England and the colonies is mirrored by Franklin’s deteriorating relationship with his son William, the royal governor of New Jersey and a Loyalist. Juxtaposing the political and the paternal in that way is a powerful narrative tool, bringing to life the difficult choices Franklin faced.
People say Ron’s all Trump? “But is he is <pause> so much more. I just thought you should know.” Read this on why DeSantis’s “normal Trump” is basically pay-for-play authoritarianism.
RIP Bruce Johnson. A D.C. legend meets God.
What’s behind the Ukraine biolab conspiracy? A deep dive.
Meanwhile, in Ohio… Josh Mandel and J.D. Vance have new ads. If you can’t hear the whistle, it’s not for you.
What if I told you… And hear me out here… Republican fundraising initiatives ended up in spam at a higher rate because they were more likely to be conspiracies?
Is that bias?
Automation giveth… Automation taketh away.
Sheena Greitens says she has receipts. Will Missouri voters care?
QAnon has gone mainstream… At least in the GOP, Radley Balko argues.
The GOP “grooming” boomerang. Andy Levy points out that Tucker’s embrace of the GOP’s inaccurate and disgusting new attack sure seems to implicate him.
A cookbook nobody can use. Really, a HALO cookbook?
What’s the deal with these “sailing stones?” A look.
The Russians are bad at tank tactics.
Do Not Taunt Ivermectin. It contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.
Can we talk about who in Florida is employing the “groomers?” Because this sure indicates it may seem it might be the governor.
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