Liz Cheney Scorches the Pro-Putin Wing of the GOP
Plus: The Katie Hobbs meltdown?
“For somebody who has the picture of Ronald Reagan on his wall in his office in the Capitol, the notion that now Kevin McCarthy is going to make himself the leader of the pro-Putin wing of my party is just a stunning thing.” — Liz Cheney, Meet the Press, October 23, 2022
If you’re catching up after the weekend of playoff baseball and Green Bay Packer disillusionment, you might want to start here:
80% of Democrats and Republicans believe the political opposition poses a threat that, if not stopped, will destroy America as we know it.
The liberal Navigator public tracking poll flashed a major warning sign for Democrats in mid-October, reporting a 20 percentage point jump since September in the share of independent voters concerned about the economy and gas prices.
That was not the only data showing a turning of the tide in the battle for Congress. Regional challenges had shown up in internal Democratic polls from deep blue sanctums in the Pacific Northwest, New York and even Rhode Island, Democratic strategists say. Crime, a major focus of Republican advertising, has also risen as a major issue in several races.
Candidates say they have felt the ground shift.
In memos, private communications and interviews, Greenberg has been imploring the party to — let’s put this bluntly — shut the hell up about all the work it’s done. It’s not that voters don’t care. He says voters actively turn against Democrats when they hear it.
“It’s our worst performing message,” Greenberg told West Wing Playbook. “I’ve tested it. I did Biden’s exact words, his exact speech. And that’s the test where we lost all of our leads… It said to the voters that this election is about my accomplishments as a leader and not about the challenges you’re experiencing.”
“Murkowski says she’ll vote for longtime friend and Democrat Mary Peltola for U.S. House.”
Post-Schar poll: “Over 6 in 10 Americans favor leaving race out of college admissions”
Axios: The most Tucker Story EVAH: “Tucker Carlson lashes out at GOP campaign chief in irate private call.”
An irate Tucker Carlson phoned Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), chairman of the House Republican campaign committee, with an ultimatum on Friday:
Either reveal which staff member took a swipe at Carlson's son, a Capitol Hill aide, in an article about internal House GOP politicking — or the Fox host would assume Emmer himself was to blame for the quote.
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And then there was Liz Cheney, who hammered the House GOP Leader — and the new neo-isolationist right — on MTP Sunday morning.
On Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s decision to campaign for election denier, Kari Lake:
You know, I think they are really indefensible decisions. And, you know, I've said I think that Glenn Youngkin has done a good job as governor of Virginia, but nobody should be out advocating for the election of people who will not honor the sanctity of our elections process. And, you know, people who do that are in fact putting politics ahead of the constitution and ahead of the country.
On the failure to convict Trump when the Senate had the chance:
Well, I think that it was a mistake. I think it was the wrong decision. I think, you know, the fact that all of the Republicans who did not vote to convict, some did but not enough -- you know, we were in a situation where I would have liked to have seen that trial take place immediately. I don't think that the Article of Impeachment should have been held. I think there were a number of people responsible for the delay in that trial, but that was a mistake. And I think clearly this was an impeachable offense for which Donald Trump should have been convicted.
On the conscience of Kevin McCarthy:
Well, look, the Speaker is second in line to the presidency. And at every moment since, frankly, the aftermath of the election in 2020, when Minority Leader McCarthy has had the opportunity to do the right thing or do something that serves his own political purpose he always chooses to serve his own political purpose. And, you know, that extends to what we've seen just in the last few days with these comments about aid to Ukraine, the idea that somehow the party is now no longer going to support the Ukrainian people, which, you know, for somebody who has a picture of Ronald Reagan on the wall of his office in the Capitol, the notion that now Kevin McCarthy is going to make himself the leader of the pro-Putin wing of my party is just a stunning thing. It's dangerous. He knows better.
But the fact that he's willing to go down the path of suggesting that America will no longer stand for freedom I think tells you he's willing to sacrifice everything for his own political gain.
On the GOP isolationists:
We certainly have isolationists inside our party. They – we have isolationists inside the Democratic Party as well. But leaders have to lead.
And when you have the leader of the Republican Party suggesting that we can play with the fire of isolationism, suggesting that somehow the American people will not support the fight for freedom, which is the front lines of freedom right now happening in Ukraine in the battle between Putin and Zelenskyy, and the notion that he would be willing to embrace that, to enable it, tells you he's just not fit for the office.
CHUCK TODD: Donald Trump ends up the nominee in 2024, you've said you're not going to be a Republican anymore. So it implies you think the Republican Party can be saved?
REP. LIZ CHENEY: I think that the party has either got to come back from where we are right now, which is a very dangerous and toxic place, or the party will splinter and there will be a new conservative party that rises. And if Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party, the party will shatter and there will be a conservative party that rises in its place.
Go on, we’re listening…
Anti-Semitism on the Right Revisited
David French had an important follow-up to last week’s Morning Shot’s on the right’s casual normalization of anti-Semitism:
Yesterday, in his invaluable morning newsletter, my friend Charlie Sykes recounted some of the worst incidents. There’s nothing subtle about them, no “dog whistles” here. Just in the past week, Donald Trump “truthed” this message to his loyal fans:
No President has done more for Israel than I have. Somewhat surprisingly, however, our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S. Those living in Israel, though, are a different story—Highest approval rating in the World, could easily be P.M.! U.S. Jews have to get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel—Before it is too late!
Days before Trump’s post, Ye (formerly Kanye West) tweeted this evil nonsense:
I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.
As The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro stated on his podcast, “What he is spouting is Der Stürmer-type anti-Semitism, and that is about as ugly as it gets, and nobody should be defending that.” Shapiro was on the receiving end of an avalanche of right-wing anti-Semitic hatred in 2016 when he opposed Donald Trump. Indeed, an immense number of anti-Semitic messages were aimed at Jewish Trump critics throughout Trump’s first campaign.
And yet, oddly enough, days after Ye’s reprehensible statement, Ye attended a star-studded premiere of a new documentary by The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens. The Daily Wire promoted the documentary and Ye’s appearance at the premiere.
“What is going on?” French asks.
Two hatreds are combining to empower anti-Semitism on the right. The first is obvious enough: It’s the hatred of Jews plain in the messages themselves. It’s the ancient evil that has plagued the Jewish people for millennia.
A second hatred, however, enables the first. Parts of the right simply loathe the left. They hate progressives, and they will never react to any progressive criticism by taking concrete action against anyone on “their” side. They might say they’re opposing cancel culture, but this same quarter of the right delights in censorship when it controls the levers of power.
Read the whole thing here. BONUS: A reminder that ideas have consequences:
TFG is unhappy with DeSantis’s decision to endorse the GOP senate nominee in Colorado (after Trump denounced him as a RINO):
More election denialism on the way
Rolling Stone is reporting: “Trump Plans to Challenge the 2022 Elections — Starting in Philly.”
The former president is fixated on challenging the results of Pennsylvania’s Senate race, which he views — as one source puts it — as a “dress rehearsal for Trump 2024”
1. Democrats Need to Know What Time It Is
Tim Miller with some tough love from Arizona: “A lesson and a warning from the Katie Hobbs Experience.”
The Democratic nominee for governor in Arizona, Katie Hobbs, has been a dog’s breakfast served inside a dumpster fire. She’s turning over staff after getting sued by a past employee for discrimination. She is ducking debates and hiding from the press. She’s proven incapable of rhetorically taking the fight to her opponent, despite the extensive hit list to choose from. The liberal columnist for the local paper and co-chair of Biden’s campaign in Arizona have ripped her campaign. And the more prominent, popular Democrats who might aid her effort are M.I.A.
Not. Great. Bob.
2. The People He Needs to Be Hurting
In today’s Bulwark, Albert Cairo writes about Ron DeSantis’s crusade against transgender care.
There’s a quote from a 2019 New York Times story that haunts me to this day. The Times reporter was describing the negative economic impacts that President Donald Trump’s government shutdown had on rural towns in the Florida Panhandle. A woman who had voted for Trump told the Times: “He [Trump]’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”
I remembered those words while reflecting on what the Florida Board of Medicine may do soon: severely restrict or ban youth gender-affirming care. Today my son, a transgender boy, is among the “people he needs to be hurting”—though now the “he” is Governor Ron DeSantis, working through his political hack of a surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo.
3. Federal Judge Once Again Notes Trump’s “Likely” Post-Election Crimes
Kim Wehle, in today’s Bulwark:
“This email, read in context with other documents in this review, make clear that President Trump filed certain lawsuits not to obtain legal relief, but to disrupt or delay the January 6 congressional proceedings through the courts.”
In other words, filing bogus lawsuits to thwart a presidential election outcome is evidence of a crime.
And so, since “the crime-fraud exception applies” to these four emails, Carter ordered Eastman to hand them over to the Jan. 6th Committee.
Thank you for publishing Prof Cairo's piece. As the parent of a transgender son in Wisconsin, the lead up to this election has been one of increasing anxiety and fear. Many in the GOP here also want to enact the same sort of draconian laws as in DeSantis' Florida. And all too frequently, we have only been hearing the howling from the right about these issues, with very little push back from experts and care providers (as well as parents) of transgender kids. Putting Cairo's voice out there helps in letting people know the reality of our and our child's situation.
Charlie's morning dose of reality almost always depresses me. Today's put me in a hole so deep I think JVL is Mr. Sunshine.
Of course people think the other party is trying to destroy America. That is what each party has been saying for the last 40 years (at least). Between Dems saying the opponent is trying to put minorities back in chains to the GOP saying Dems are trying to destroy capitalism, it makes sense we would believe it. But voters should look no further than themselves. Until voters demand better from their leaders, we will get crappy people who manipulate because that is easier.
Keep up the great work Charlie, appreciate the truth even if it causes my Prozac intake to go way up.