A Bipartisan Blowout in Ohio
Plus: In Texas, the brutality is the point.
Lots of catching up to do:
Trump refuses to sign pledge to support the GOP nominee if it’s not him. Because, of course.
What climate crisis? Hawaii is burning.
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Let’s start with a look back on what happened in Ohio on Tuesday, where voters in that increasingly red state handed the GOP yet another stunning rebuke.
By now you know the story: Republicans, too clever by half, tried to change the rules to make it harder to pass a pro-choice constitutional amendment via referendum. The proposal would have required a 60 percent supermajority to pass amendments, instead of a simple majority.
There was nothing subtle about the gambit, and the vote in a low turnout August special election was expected to be close. It wasn’t. The measure was crushed 57-43 — losing in even reliably GOP counties.
Make sure you read Dan McGraw in today’s Bulwark: “Why the Ohio Special Election Backfired for the GOP.”
The Ohio vote followed similar crushing (and unexpected) defeats in Kansas (!), Michigan, and a Supreme Court race in Wisconsin. It’s almost as if there’s a pattern here: “‘These are blowouts!’ Steve Bannon panics over anti-abortion movement’s string of losses.”
"You've had three in a row where that case hasn't been made or is not resonant, and these are not close," Bannon complained. "In modern American politics, these are blowouts!"
"I want to rub people's noses in this. They're spiking the football!" he said of pro-abortion rights activists. "You've had three shots. These are not left-wing places, Kansas and Ohio, brother, I mean, you're not going to get more MAGA."
If anyone doubted the message that voters have been sending in election after election since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, Ohioans underscored it once more on Tuesday: Voters are highly motivated by abortion. They have repeatedly supported abortion rights even in red states, and have turned out to say so even on typically low-turnout primary dates.
That was clear in Kansas a year ago, when voters in a highly Republican state overwhelmingly rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed legislators to ban abortion. It was clear in November, when abortion-related questions were on the ballot in five states with different political leanings, and all five states voted in favor of abortion rights. It was clear this April, when a majority of voters in closely divided Wisconsin elected a liberal Supreme Court justice who had run on her support for abortion rights.
And now it is clear in Ohio, where voters turned out in much larger numbers than is normal in an August election, and voted against the amendment by 14 percentage points in a state that voted for Donald J. Trump in 2020 by about eight points.
The shellackings are very much a bipartisan affair. The Wapo’s Philip Bump crunched the numbers and came up with this extraordinary factoid:
A review of six statewide votes since last year, including Ohio’s, shows that in 500 of 510 counties, access to abortion outperformed President Biden’s 2020 results.
Across those counties, including a lot of deep-red ones, the margin of support for abortion access topped Biden’s 2020 margin by an average of 26 points, a significant shift to the left.
In Ohio, about one-fifth of counties that voted for Trump in 2020 opposed Issue 1…
Of the 510 counties included in the analysis, only two counties that voted for Biden in 2020 also opposed access to abortion. Among Trump-voting counties, 81 supported that access.
How bad is it? Even Ann Coulter has agita. “Since Dobbs, voters haven’t approved abortion restrictions in ANY STATE,” she tweeted. “They’ve rejected abortion restrictions in Kentucky, Montana, Michigan, Kansas, Vermont and California … and now, Ohio.”
“By the time Republicans notice states keep voting IN FAVOR of abortion, there will be no elected Republicans left.”
Will Hurd: Don’t Kiss Your Opponent’s Butt
The former Texas congressman says he’s running for president because America deserves a sane conservative party—while Trump is running to stay out of prison. And licking Trump’s boots is no way to beat him.
Meanwhile in Texas
"Appalled by the ongoing cruel and inhumane tactics employed by @GovAbbott at the Texas border," Garcia, a Democrat, wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, alongside the clip. "The situation's reality is unsettling as these buoys' true danger and brutality come to light. We must stop this NOW!"
Mexican authorities said last week that two bodies had been recovered from the river in recent days, including one that was caught in the floating barrier. One body was found stuck in the lines of orange buoys, Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said in a statement on August 2. A second body was recovered about three miles upriver from the buoys, The Associated Press reported.
As I wrote back in January: The brutality is the point.
The storm is rising
The Utah man killed by federal agents Wednesday had posted graphic threats to murder the president. He also threatened the VP, AG Merrick Garland, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and Rep. Adam Schiff. Last year he reportedly mentioned going to a "Target Rich Environment" at a fundraising event for Democrats.
Messages posted on what is believed to be his Facebook page on Tuesday included bloodthirsty content about how he'd brutally murder the commander in chief.
The page, which posted pro-Trump comments, also had more death threats against Biden's brother, Kamala Harris as well as Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.
Meanwhile he shared numerous pictures of the heavy duty weapons he had stacked in a huge gun cache in his house, including sniper rifles and AR-15-style guns
Among his posts:
1. John Eastman: The Dems Made Me Do It
A few minutes after his appeal to the Declaration, Eastman will claim that Democratic efforts to destroy the country have accelerated rapidly—“it’s been an exponential increase in the last few years”—and as an example he quotes the culture wars: “You’re gonna let 50-year-old-men naked into teenage girls’ showers at public pools, or drag queens doing story hours to 6-year-olds.”
2. About Those Drone Strikes in Russia
The blast in Sergiev Posad, which killed one woman and injured at least sixty people, may or may not have been directly connected to Russia’s war in Ukraine. But it’s part of a bigger picture in which Russian targets away from the frontlines are increasingly vulnerable to Ukrainian strikes—and to unexplained attacks likely related to pro-Ukraine sabotage. As the Ukrainian offensive slowly but surely grinds on, these incidents add up to a general sense that Russia is, well, burning.
Few days late with this, but it’s a banger.