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Swing Voters, January 6, and War in Europe
Plus, a good news / bad news situation.
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BENJAMIN PARKER: The Five Best Stories of 2021
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RICH THAU and SUSIE PIEPER explain why Swing Voters Don’t Like the January 6 Committee Critics.
A handful of GOP House members have been working to raise their profiles through opposition to the January 6 investigation. We were curious how well-known these members are among swing voters outside the DC political bubble. The short answer: not very.
During our groups, we displayed official, unlabeled head shots of Reps. Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Madison Cawthorn, Lauren Boebert, and Matt Gaetz. We numbered them one through five. We then asked how many respondents could name three or more of them. None could. The only two members who were recognizable at all were Greene and Gaetz, and just five respondents could recognize either or both.
The Republican Party is now about knife fights and justifying just about anything -- like Peter Navarro laying out a clear description of the attempted Trump coup. Still, there are 2021 bright spots. Peter Wehner joins guest host Mona Charen on today's episode.
TB: Is that what makes this military buildup different from the one we saw back in April before the Biden-Putin summit? Or are there also technical or military differences that are making people more worried this time?
Hodges: The Kremlin under Putin has not been stopped since 2001. After their 2008 invasion of Georgia, they still occupy 20 percent Georgia, even though they agreed to withdraw. Their support for the Assad regime helped them achieve what they wanted. They’re in Ukraine and they’ve never been stopped. So I think they are operating at a higher than normal level of risk tolerance.
Putin looks at America and the allies, and we still seem a little bit disjointed. You’ve got a brand new German government that just took over a few weeks ago. The British government is in disarray. France has their own elections coming up in April. We are not at our peak right now in terms of unity. He sees mixed messages from Germany, especially about the new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, Nord Stream II, and he sees mixed messages coming from the White House. I think he sees the possibility that he could separate the United States from Europe and that’s the biggest danger.
I think there’s more opportunity now because a gas is more of a useful weapon in the middle of winter. I mean, it was below zero here in Frankfurt in the last couple of days. And so people start thinking about how cold it is. So their vulnerability to gas as a weapon is at its peak right now.
Secondly, what we saw back in April—all that military hardware pretty much stayed in place. Even the Caspian Sea Flotilla, which they moved to the Sea of Azov, is still there from the spring. They never went back home, and they’ve been conducting amphibious operation rehearsals.
Happy Tuesday! Hope you’re excited for New Year’s and have some fun plans in store.
An elite, pro-choice, anti-gun, transgender-child-supporting, Michelle Obama–hugging Muslim carpet-bagger and Turkish-army veteran who once announced on national television that his testicles descend in such a way that his penis curves to the left. That is a sample of the data conservative Republicans cite as proof that Dr. Oz is a threat to their plans to win the Senate in 2022. And that’s just what they’ve identified in the vast public record available courtesy of Dr. Oz himself. The oppo researchers have barely started.
The insurrection was planned in part by… Peter Navarro? And he’s apparently proud of it. The code name for the project was the “Green Bay Sweep.” At least Cleveland escaped without pinning it on us.
Remembering Max Cleland. An end-of-year obit for a patriot who fought for vets.
The Peanut Butter Secret. How an obscure tax break is saving rich people millions.
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