About That ‘National Conservatism’ Statement
Plus, When a ‘Diverse’ Book Ban Goes Awry.
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CATHY YOUNG: About That ‘National Conservatism’ Statement.
The call for America to become a Christian confessional state, with spaces of toleration carved out for Jews and other religious minorities, is one of the manifesto’s two highly specific policy prescriptions. It gives rise to several important questions: How can this position work with the document’s profession of respect for the Constitution and its amendments—the First Amendment in particular? What does it mean that adults “should be protected from religious or ideological coercion in their private lives and in their homes” (emphasis mine)? Is religious coercion at work or at school just peachy? Would a NatCon government require public employees to meet some kind of threshold level of religious belief—say, belief in a nondenominational deity—to be considered fit for employment? Would there be a qualifying test to ascertain just what kind of deity a candidate is willing to assent to believing in—a kind of civil service exam with a civic religion section? Inquiring minds want to know.
There is an item that urges more government leadership on “big” science and technology projects—perhaps a nod to Peter Thiel, one of the signatories—in order to keep the United States technologically competitive. But it also notes that “most universities are at this point partisan and globalist in orientation and vehemently opposed to nationalist and conservative ideas” and “do not deserve taxpayer support unless they rededicate themselves to the national interest.” The call for defunding is not limited to universities that are too far to the left, “woke,” or intolerant of intellectual diversity, either; being too “globalist” is enough to get the ax, and universities can expect taxpayer support only on the condition that they demonstrate conformity to “national interest” as formulated by the NatCons.
WILL SALETAN: John Eastman’s Phony “Plenary Authority” Theory.
A curious and damning phrase has surfaced in the Jan. 6th hearings. The phrase is “plenary authority.”
Last Thursday, we learned that John Eastman, the law professor who conspired with Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election, used this phrase to describe the vice president’s power in counting electoral votes. And at a hearing on Tuesday, we learned that Eastman used the same phrase to describe the power of state officials to choose electors.
“Plenary authority” means unlimited power. It means that Eastman was telling Vice President Mike Pence and Republican state legislators they could do whatever they wanted. It means that all the talk we heard over the years from Eastman and other Trumpists about respecting the Constitution was a complete joke.
Roughly 700 professors have been targeted for firing in recent years for something they said – an historic high. Yet, critics still say there’s no such thing as cancel culture. Do Americans just have to shut up to keep their jobs? FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
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BILL LUEDERS: When a ‘Diverse’ Book Ban Goes Awry.
Parents and community members in the deeply conservative city of Muskego, Wisconsin, are up in arms about a book recommended for use in a 10th-grade accelerated English class. The 2002 novel, When the Emperor Was Divine, is about a Japanese-American family during World War II, when some of its members were uprooted from their home in Berkeley, California, and sent to an internment camp in Utah.
The book—winner of an Alex Award from the American Library Association, an Asian American Literary Award, and, earlier this year, the Phoenix Award—was written by Julie Otsuka, based in part on her own family’s experience. A committee that selects books for the Muskego-Norway School District in southeastern Wisconsin recommended buying 60 copies of the book at an estimated cost of $916.80.
But the school board’s Educational Services Committee, at its June 13 meeting, decided to send the book recommendation back to the selection committee, from which it is not expected to return.
BRENT ORRELL: New Poll Shows the Bizarre Dynamics in the Big Pennsylvania Races.
Pennsylvania’s statewide campaigns have begun to swim into focus now that the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey is (finally) resolved following a recount. The results of a USA Today/Suffolk University poll conducted June 10-13 show that the news for Democrats is a lot better than they have any right to expect—and strange in ways requiring some explanation and speculation to interpret.
First the topline. Democrat John Fetterman is comfortably ahead of TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, leading in the race by 9 points, 46 percent to 37 percent. Considerably less comfortable is Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate for governor, who is ahead 44-40 over GOP State Representative/QAnon-adjacent/January 6th protester Doug Mastriano, a gap within the poll’s margin of error.
This is something of a conundrum. Why is either Democrat leading in the midst of $5-a-gallon gasoline, a looming recession, and international crisis and possible war? And why would a polished political figure like Shapiro running against a conspiracy-monger like Mastriano be having a harder time building a lead than the burly, medically challenged, and plainspoken Fetterman against an experienced and well-financed physician and professional communicator like Dr. Oz?
Happy Wednesday! The bad weather came to D.C. earlier than expected today, so I took a quick morning hike before it got too muggy. Sometimes it’s good to get out of the home office. There are some people who really hate working from home, apparently. Perhaps a future Overtime will come from a campground!
This is probably going to backfire… Consider it a way to show “progress” on the audacious cancer moonshot: the Biden administration is now focusing on reducing preventable deaths from nicotine in cigarettes. Nobody thinks they are good for you, but I do think this is going to backfire with voters for a few reasons:
Average voters who don’t smoke typically don’t care about those who do. Which is why cigarettes are among the heaviest taxed and regulated products available in America.
There are alternatives. Marijuana is legal in 19 states. Is it addictive like nicotine? No. If you smoke a lot of it, will you get cancer? Yes. Same with cloves and other things. Not to mention nicotine pills, patches, dip, gum, vaping, etc.
Americans don’t like bans. Except when they do, of course. We’re hypocrites! But, generally, telling Americans you can’t do ________ sort of runs contrary to our national ethos.
Do you really want people going to the black market? Because if customs seizures are any indication, many will do so.
Those who do care will be motivated on this as a singular issue. And if Biden isn’t president in 2025, assuming the lengthy regulatory process is completed and survives legal scrutiny to the inevitable challenges it will face, Republicans will just reverse it.
People aren’t going to keep paying the exorbitant taxes that fund everything from football stadiums to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program for duds. Maybe this clip from Joe Dirt will better explain my position. JFK said, of going to the Moon, “we do this, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” If Democrats do this, it will be because they are bad at politics.
Realtor.com does it again. Doing the shoeleather reporting conservative “journalists” won’t do. (It’s the same reporter!)
It’s true… D.C. is full of nerds.
Is this the end of Color Star? I hope not. This ongoing story has had me howling.
The Elise Stefanik saga… Let them fight.
Is Missouri ready for a sane Republican to run for Senate? People are wondering, and encouraging John Wood to run as an independent. My fear is that Missouri is too far gone, and it’s too soon, but I hope he tries.
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