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SECRET POD: The Day After🔐
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CHRISTIAN VANDERBROUK: Was It Really All Just Trump’s Fault?
Here’s the conventional wisdom about the midterm results: Good for DeSantis. Bad for Trump. Bad for election deniers. Bad for “bad candidates.”
The Republican party’s failure to engineer anything approaching a “tsunami”—likely the worst midterm election performance by a party out of power since 2002—has the GOP and conservative establishment (again) calling for Donald Trump’s political exile.
But can the Republican party just fire the manager and get back to owning the libs? Where did all those “bad candidates” come from, anyway? Can you really blame them all on a Florida retiree without a Twitter account?
CATHY YOUNG: The Liberation of Kherson.
While the war in Ukraine was not a major issue in the midterms, Ukrainians—and others who support their cause—watched Tuesday’s elections with some apprehension due to a streak of GOP skepticism toward U.S. aid to Ukraine. Last month, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested that Ukraine would no longer get a “blank check” once the Republicans got control of Congress. He and his allies promptly moved to reassure the party’s defense hawks that they weren’t advocating a cutoff of military aid, just better oversight, but the anti-Ukraine rhetoric from the right continued to make people nervous, especially with such prominent pundits as Fox News’s Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham turning their shows into platforms for Kremlin talking points.
The GOP’s lackluster election performance, which may leave control of the Senate in Democratic hands, likely spells the end of any serious effort to curb aid to Ukraine. This comes amid other big developments certain to affect the war’s course: the Russians’ decision to withdraw from Kherson, abandoning their biggest prize since the February 24 invasion, and renewed but still uncertain talk of negotiations.
It was a perfect storm this week for Michigan Democrats, who won control of the legislature for the first time in 40 years and swept the top of the ticket. After all the talk of groomers and drag queen story hour, voters finally reached the limit on crazy. Plus, is a Whitmer v. DeSantis showdown in our future? Mallory McMorrow joins guest host Tim Miller for the weekend pod.
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BRENT ORRELL: Supporting Veterans on Campus.
Syracuse University is as involved as any American university in the debates over the meaning and purpose of diversity on campus, but it is miles ahead in one often-overlooked category—that of veterans and military families. There’s history here that gives them a head start: Syracuse is home to one of the nation’s oldest ROTC chapters, established as the Students Army Training Corps (SATC) during World War I. While World War II was under way, the then-university chancellor, William Tolley (an SATC graduate), was a key adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt in helping design the G.I. Bill that made it possible for millions of American veterans to earn college degrees. As I learned on a trip to Syracuse to better understand how the university supports veterans locally and across the country, Tolley established a commitment that continues today under current post-Afghanistan/Iraq G.I. benefits: The university will admit any veteran with a high school GPA of 3.0 to its undergraduate programs. This was a radical step in 1945, when elite educational institutions like Syracuse did not regularly admit veterans into their student bodies, and the school’s level of commitment remains a differentiator in higher education today.
WILL SALETAN: The Data Have Spoken: Abortion Was a Decisive Issue in the 2022 Midterms.
On June 24, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The Court abolished the constitutional right to abortion, thereby empowering states to outlaw the procedure. Since then, many states have done just that.
On Tuesday, four and a half months after Dobbs, Republican candidates did surprisingly poorly in the midterms. The GOP lost crucial governorships, failed to capture the Senate, and—against the norm for parties out of power—made hardly any gains in the House.
Are these two events related? Did Dobbs torpedo the GOP?
Happy Friday! As we go into the end of… election week, which is kind of a bizarre sentence to type, I hope you’re taking a deep breath and planning something fun for the weekend. And to our readers who are veterans: thank you. America is great because of you.
A sweet local column in my weekly paper about Veteran’s day. Enjoy.
Trump still owns the GOP. Can DeSantis buy in? Watch the full Next Level episode here. (And smash that subscribe button, as the kids say.)
Sock company delivers… A charity gets more than they expected. 40,000 socks.
Elon’s takeover of Twitter isn’t going so well! According to the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh.
Brian Kemp… Created the blueprint. Will Republicans follow his lead?
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