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A Moderate Running in Immoderate Times
Plus, What It Means to Be a Republican Today.
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New from Me: A Moderate Running in Immoderate Times.
Something has always bothered me about the religious invocations that often precede political rallies—the incongruity of praising God before bashing your opponent can be jarring. But I’ve heard enough of them to know that they often serve as a preview of things to come.
This week, I attended campaign events for the two congressional candidates facing off where I live, in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District—and in each case, the religious leaders who opened the proceedings set the tone for everything that followed.
Trump is fascinated with violence, and his damaging childhood has impacted him ever since. And the man who was more interested in winning in 2016 than being president, now really wants the title and the power again— along with the payback. Maggie Haberman joins Charlie Sykes for the weekend pod.
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Take a guess: Among voters who say American democracy is under threat, do more people believe that Donald Trump, or Joe Biden, or the mainstream media pose a major threat?
You’ll be forgiven for not knowing—according to a recently released New York Times/Siena survey—that 59 percent of respondents in that category believe it’s the mainstream media that poses a “major threat.” That compares with 45 percent who say Trump is a major threat, and 38 percent who say Biden is.
WILLIAM SALETAN: What It Means to Be a Republican Today.
The most interesting political race of 2022 isn’t between a Democrat and a Republican. It’s in Utah, where incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Lee faces independent challenger Evan McMullin. McMullin, a nearly lifelong Republican, is conservative on most issues, so Lee can’t beat him with the usual playbook—calling him woke or a tax-and-spender or a socialist. By neutralizing the GOP’s favorite lines of attack, McMullin has reduced the race to one crucial difference between the candidates: Lee’s complicity in Donald Trump’s schemes to undo the 2020 election.
The Lee-McMullin race poses a difficult question: What exactly does the GOP stand for? Why should voters support a Republican senator against an opponent who agrees with him on policy but not on subverting democracy? If economic, moral, and foreign-policy conservatism no longer define the party, what does? What does it mean to be a Republican in 2022, beyond conspiring—or defending others who have conspired—to overturn elections when your party doesn’t win?
McMullin is discovering that there are answers to that question. And they’re ugly.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack… I don’t care because baseball is back! During the Wild Card series, I bought some peanuts and Cracker Jack. And my kids hated it, so we threw it away. But I still have this bag of peanuts that I keep picking from. My two teams may be gone, but even though I’m an AL guy, I can’t root for a franchise that wasn’t punished for cheating, so Go Phillies!
The once in a generation wealth boom… Comes to an end for middle class families. (Bloomberg).
Sarah Longwell… On the GOP nihilists.
Prayers for the Pelosis. A crazed man with a hammer broke into the Pelosi household last night and sent the Speaker’s husband to the hospital. Naturally, pundits and pols on the right reacted coolly and calmly. Just kidding.
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