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Trump Supporters Are Responsible for Their Choices
Plus: Forget pardons, let's talk Elba.
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CHARLIE SYKES: The Churchillian Case Against a Trump Pardon
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MONA CHAREN: Trump Supporters Are Responsible for Their Choices.
AS A GENERAL RULE, I applaud people attempting to bridge divides in America. Extra points if you can look in the mirror and criticize your own side. So two cheers to the New York Times’s David Brooks for taking a stab at understanding Donald Trump’s popularity from the point of view of his supporters. Why not three cheers? Read on.
Brooks writes that most people in elite circles think of themselves as the forces of “progress and enlightenment” while viewing Trump fans as “reactionary bigots and authoritarians.” Perhaps to play Devil’s advocate, Brooks offers an alternative view. I think it’s a useful exercise even if some of Brooks’s arguments got my back up!
CATHY YOUNG: Why We Shouldn’t Validate the Politics of Grievance.
DAVID BROOKS’S “Are we the baddies?” New York Times column asking readers to grapple with the conundrum of continuing massive support for Donald Trump by considering that maybe “we anti-Trumpers are not the eternal good guys” understandably caused quite a stir. Some prominent anti-Trump voices commended the piece as thoughtful and insightful introspection. Many others joined the bash-Brooks bandwagon—which some would take as proof that the column hit home.
Trying to see things from the vantage point of people with whom you strenuously disagree is a valuable exercise. But Brooks’s critique of the elites fails in several important ways. Mona Charen discusses some of these in The Bulwark today; I want to make a few additional points, and then take a step back and look at Brooks’s broader aim.
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CNN REPORTS THAT “THE SLOW PROGRESS” of the Ukrainian counteroffensive “has exposed the difficulty of transforming Ukrainian forces into combined mechanized fighting units, sometimes with as few as eight weeks of training on western-supplied tanks and other new weapons systems.” Yeah, no kidding. Combined arms operations are hard, even for the best Western militaries, and even when the enemy isn’t actually shooting at you. I know; I’ve done it.
BILL LUEDERS: Derrick Van Orden Makes No Apologies for Being a Jerk.
IN MARCH 2021, DERRICK VAN ORDEN WROTE an op-ed for the La Crosse Tribune blasting Ron Kind, the Democrat representing Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, for his vote a few days earlier against the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. He called this vote “one of the most blatant displays of lack of character, integrity, and courage by a politician in the [sic] modern American history.”
Van Orden, a former Navy Seal and sometime movie actor, noted that Kind had voted for the bill in June 2020 but was one of just two Democrats in Congress who voted against it when it came up again in 2021. “The only difference between now and then,” Van Orden wrote, is that, in between the two votes, “Ron almost lost his job.”
Keynes vs. Churchill… I’d like to weigh in on the debate with a different opinion: The Elba Option. This is unlikely to happen because it would require some buy-in from House Republicans to become law, but hear me out: I think it’s fairly likely that Donald Trump, at the end of all of these prosecutions, will find himself inside a prison cell at some point. (For how long, or why, is anyone’s guess.)
Palmyra Atoll is 1,000 miles south of Hawaii. A bill to authorize the Secret Service to build and maintain a comfortable minimum security detention facility there but only for individuals who are provided Secret Service protection by law. It solves a few problems, like “what about his detail?” “won’t people just turn whatever prison he’s held inside into a MAGA holy site?” “what about protests and violence outside?”
Reachable only by Boat Parade. It’s perfect. Maybe the USS John S. McCain can sail by from time to time. Come share your thoughts on Substack Notes.
The Debate nobody asked for… Ron DeSantis vs. Gavin Newsom, moderated by… Sean Hannity? Big question: Will Ron still be a Presidential candidate when the debate happens?
News DC denizens can use… Via our colleague Adam Keiper: “A set of maps of all 98 Metro stations showing you where to stand on the train if you want to leave by a specific escalator, elevator, or exit.”
DiFi suffers a fall… The California Senator, whose votes are crucial for judicial nominees, was hospitalized in California.
Creeping ever upward… John Ganz on racism, respectability, and careerism.
Trump wants a SCIF… Installed at Mar-a-Lago for his classified documents case.
The Trump case takes a Twitter turn… Jack Smith came to Twitter with a warrant. Elon Musk wanted to alert Trump. Twitter couldn’t produce the evidence in time, was hit with contempt sanctions, and fined. Here’s what Smith may have wanted from Twitter, and who might have corroborating testimony.
Poor Robert E. Lee’s horse… The latest “victim” of cancel culture conservatives are quibbling over.
Ohio Special Election Vote… is a ‘Five-Alarm Fire’ for Abortion Opponents. D.J. Byrnes takes a look at the biggest losers in Ohio’s Issue 1.
Utah man dies in FBI raid… After making threats against Biden, Harris, those prosecuting Trump. He was turned in by Trump’s "Truth Social.”
Gov. Josh Shapiro… is showing how to break the politics of resentment.
Writers are getting deepfaked on Amazon… And it’s unclear if it can be stopped.
Matt Labash weighs in… On the Ramaswamy Tsunami!
They lost their kids to Fortnite… And now they want to hold its maker accountable.
If This is 1776, John Eastman… you’re on the other side, buddy.
How do you tell the difference between genuine health risks and media hype? The answer lies, apparently, with an old dead Swiss guy.
I bet they did Nazi that coming! Far-right nationalists are suing a Seattle man for revealing their identities after joining their “Patriot Front” group. Five of them lost their jobs, and one was kicked out of his parents’ house. You love to see it.
A Baathist Phil Jackson mural… In North Dakota’s Governor’s office.
Tanner Bibee’s wicked curve… Watch this ball drop.
Inside the secret movement bringing back Europe’s wildlife… Whether it’s legal… or not.
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