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Are We Headed for Two Demagogic Parties?
Plus: The Lawsuit in Colorado That Could Block Trump from the Ballot
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CHRIS DEATON: Are We Headed for Two Demagogic Parties?
AMERICAN POLITICS HAS ALMOST ALWAYS been a two-party system, although the parties in that system—their names, platforms, and voting coalitions—have shifted many times. Since the latter half of the twentieth century, the country has been in what political scientists call the Sixth Party System—which is to say, the sixth period of relatively stable coalitions.
Scholars don’t agree if this equilibrium still holds or if it’s in the process of fracturing and reassembling into a Seventh Party System.
What we do know is that before the Sixth Party System came about, there was a period of what some scholars call “dealignment,” meaning: When Republicans and Democrats abandoned their parties in the 1960s, they didn’t just immediately re-sort—they took some time to bring about the realignment
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WE ARE AT THE HEIGHT OF OCTOBER, or, in popular parlance, “the spooky season.” But perhaps we’ve tried to contain the calendrical danger too neatly. For instance, February is a dangerous month—so thinks Laura (Lolly) Willowes. “If you are a were-wolf, and very likely you may be, for lots of people are without knowing, February, of all months, is the month when you are most likely to go out on a dark windy night and worry sheep.”
This pronouncement—considered, capricious, with its dark windy night and fey off-kilter strangeness—is typical of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s 1926 novel, Lolly Willowes.
KIMBERLY WEHLE: The Lawsuit in Colorado That Could Block Trump from the Ballot.
ON MONDAY, A FIVE-DAY EVIDENTIARY HEARING began in a Colorado state court on a civil lawsuit brought against the Colorado secretary of state and Donald J. Trump seeking to enforce Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution by banning Trump from the presidential ballot in 2024 in that state. Although the case feels like a footnote to the four high-profile criminal trials awaiting Trump, it is the only one that could have a direct impact on the 2024 election.
Bear in mind that the original U.S. Constitution sets forth only three criteria for the presidency: citizenship (“a natural born Citizen”), age (“thirty five Years”), and residency (“fourteen Years a Resident within the United States”). When the Twenty-second Amendment took effect in 1951, it added another criterion: no one could be elected president who had previously served two terms. The Constitution says nothing about felony status or even that presidents must not reside in prison when elected. If Trump is convicted in any of the four criminal cases—the two state cases (in New York and Georgia) and the two in federal court (in Florida and Washington, D.C.)—it would not render him constitutionally ineligible for the presidency. The only way he stays off the ballot is if the Republican party refuses to nominate him (a fantasy), or enough states refuse to put him on their respective ballots so as to make 270 Electoral College votes for him an impossibility.
Happy Halloween! In Saint Louis, kids tell jokes at Halloween, which is apparently from Irish culture. I’ve gotten enough mileage out of my Ted Lasso costume—and it’s hard to beat Pierre Delecto—so I’m cashing in on some lazy dad points and going as former Blues Stanley Cup champion Jaden Schwartz.
Sec. of State Blinken dressed his son as Zelensky and you can imagine how well that’s going on the right1. Come chat on Substack Notes on my Halloween thread to share the funniest/best decorations you’ve seen.
Inside the Oakland Coliseum… I’m not a big fan of ballhawks, but since I won’t ever get to see an Oakland Athletics home game, a regret, this is a cool stadium tour.
Trump’s Derangement Syndrome… Sheila Markin asks: who is deranged here?
In One Lawsuit, Louisiana & Missouri Say Gov’t Can Never Pressure Websites To Change… But in another, they’re looking to pressure websites to change.
Ron DeSantis has a new explanation for his failing campaign… It’s Alvin Bragg’s fault? I’m Ron Burgundy?
…and in Colorado… A would-be mass shooter opted just to take his own life, writing on the wall of the stall where he took his own life: “I am not a killer, I just wanted to get into the caves.”
It will not shock you… To learn that Lindsey Graham reportedly told his Senate colleagues to support Kari Lake.
I’ll have what he’s having… Vivek Ramaswamy’s foreign policy requires some sort of mind-altering drugs to make sense.
Our Humanity Cannot be Limited… Standing against anti-semitism is not a choice but an obligation, writes Faraaz Ahmed.
The flight of The Seguras… Comedian Tom Segura has a surprise for his mom for her birthday: a surprise helicopter stunt ride.
Only in Washington… Would byzantine bureaucratic rules hamper a high profile sexual assault investigation and you’ll never guess why: law firms have to be small local businesses.
Bolivia severs ties with Israel… President Luis Arce becomes the second Bolivian president to do so. The first, Evo Morales, was ousted and sought political asylum.
Another Southern Baptist Betrayal… Revelations of a scandalous amicus brief raise a question for Chris Davis: Who’s driving the SBC?
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