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The Michigan GOP Doubles Down on Losing
Plus: Biden Went to Kyiv; DeSantis Went to Fox & Friends.
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New from Me: The Michigan State GOP Doubles Down on Losing.
As recently as 2016, Michigan seemed to be on the verge of losing its swing-state balance and falling into the arms of the GOP, in the process becoming more like its reviled neighbor, Ohio. That year, Donald Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win the state since George H.W. Bush twenty-four years earlier. The state party took stock of the moment, sensed an opportunity to pull the blueish state to their side on a longer-term basis, and decided to do so by doubling down on the only electoral strategy that appeared to them to have worked: a further dizzying shot of 200-proof MAGA.
Instead of falling into their arms under the influence of this approach, though, Michigan has, in a manner of speaking, vomited the state GOP’s poisonous offering back in their faces.
In 2016, Michigan Republicans had the state’s governorship and nine seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, while Democrats had five of the House seats and both seats in the U.S. Senate. Now, seven years later, rising star Gretchen Whitmer is consolidating her power following a decisive re-election.
ERIC EDELMAN, DAVID J. KRAMER, AND BENJAMIN PARKER: Moldova Is Putin’s Next Target.
For more than three decades, Russia has viewed neighboring states as part of its sphere of influence in which it believes it has the right to foment separatist movements, send in troops as “peacekeepers,” and engage in brutal aggression. The result has been uninvited Russian forces occupying territory belonging to Moldova, Georgia, and most recently Ukraine. In Belarus, Russia has exploited dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s dependence on Russian intervention to stay in power, dissolving much of Belarus’ sovereignty and independence and allowing Russian forces to use Belarus as a staging ground for the invasion of Ukraine a year ago.
This pattern started under Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, who signed the 1999 Istanbul Document under which Russia agreed to withdraw its forces from Moldova’s Transnistria region and from Georgia’s Abkhaz and South Ossetian areas, but never followed through.
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ALBERT W. ALSCHULER: This Isn’t Your (Founding) Fathers’ Originalism.
In Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, the federal law preventing domestic abusers from possessing firearms is now void. That’s thanks to a recent ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Rahimi, in which the court clearly indicated discomfort with the conclusion the Supreme Court forced it to reach.
A court order barred Zackey Rahimi from stalking a former girlfriend and from possessing a firearm. But Rahimi demonstrated spectacularly that he still had a gun. Within a two-month period, he fired multiple shots into the home of a narcotics customer, shot at the driver of a car involved in an accident with his car, returned after leaving the accident scene to fire more shots at the driver’s car, shot at a Texas constable’s vehicle, and fired multiple shots in the air when a friend’s credit card was declined at a restaurant. After a trial court rejected Rahimi’s claim that the Constitution entitled him to keep and bear his gun, he pleaded guilty to violating 18 U.S.C. § 922, which makes it illegal for those under court orders like his to possess any firearm or ammunition.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Biden Went to Kyiv; DeSantis Went to Fox & Friends.
Gross things can happen when you convince yourself that, no matter what, you must position yourself in complete opposition to your political opponents. Just look at what Ron DeSantis is doing.
Before pursuing elected office, DeSantis was a Yale undergrad-turned-Harvard legal scholar, a history teacher, and a military officer. So, one would think his first reaction to President Biden’s surprise visit to war-torn Kyiv to show solidarity with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky would be, at a bare minimum, to show some respect for the Ukrainian resistance and maybe hold off on the self-serving commentary for a few hours.
That is not the choice DeSantis made. Instead, the Florida governor, who aspires to be president himself, decided to position himself in front of the cameras of Fox & Friends to . . . wait for it . . . blame Biden for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
JOE PERTICONE: Secession Fan Fiction Gaining Popularity on the Right.
A strange proposal is working its way through the Idaho state legislature that would have that state envelop more than a dozen of Oregon’s most conservative eastern counties—in effect, shifting the border between the states 200-plus miles to the west. While last Wednesday’s vote in the Idaho House approving this “Greater Idaho” idea is nonbinding, it does legitimize the movement that has long been promoting the plan.
Feds shut down Missouri Christian “health sharing” non-profit… After the last two attorney generals, now both Republican Senators, were “mediating.”
Confessions of a Pinewood Derby Dad. "I was researching tungsten putty when I realized I might be headed down a dark path." I was never a good Pinewood racer, but I did win the Space Derby!
Ron DeSantis about to defuse the Disney bomb… He lit himself, before realizing the real world consequences for his constituents.
They were married… They shared a trench, and died in it together, fighting for Ukraine.
Jimmy Carter’s presidency… Was not what you think. While the 39th president isn’t fondly thought of by Republicans, I wrote a couple years ago that Joe Biden could take some lessons from the successes of his presidency.
The bipartisan odd couple… banding together to fight election deniers in Arizona.
What flying out of Dulles was like… In the 1970s.
A Briton becomes an American… And video blogs all the things he isn’t used to: like American furnaces.
Meanwhile, in Georgia… It appears indictments are coming regarding the 2020 election chicanery.
When Fox News guards the henhouse… David Thornton writes at Ordinary Times: “I was once a Fox News fan, but given the blatant lies that so many of the network’s employees pushed, lies that directly fueled the insurrection and brought the United States to the brink of civil war, I hope that the jury finds against the disgraced network. This trial should end with Dominion owning Fox News. Literally.”
Haley hit on confederate flag, secession… While taking down the “stars and bars” was something that her supporters point to as a moment of courage, a new CNN report unearths some remarks from a couple years prior that undercut this image.
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