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Testing the Voters' Mood
Plus: Bill Kristol on... Putin's Century?
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A.B. STODDARD: Next Week’s Elections Will Test Voter Mood Ahead of 2024.
DEMOCRATS ARE RIDING ANGER over abortion rights to the polls next week in off-year elections around the country and, in some places, nervous Republicans are purging voter rolls in anticipation.
In multiple special elections this year, Democrats have crushed it—galvanizing the same post-Dobbs energy that helped them in the 2022 midterms to overperform the relative partisanship of districts by an average of 11 points. But off-year contests attract fewer voters—and different voters—than the presidential election will next year. And a big night next week in Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky does not portend victory for Democrats a year from now, as President Biden remains deeply unpopular.
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RALPH CLEM: The Moral Costs of Peace Now in Ukraine
AS VLADIMIR PUTIN’S VICIOUS WAR AGAINST UKRAINE continues, calls for negotiations that would grant Russia large swathes of Ukraine’s sovereign lands and control over Ukrainian citizens who live there are on the rise. The arguments for negotiating range from outright defeatism (“There is no likely path to a Ukrainian military victory”) to a misunderstanding of Ukraine’s security needs (“A cease-fire involving territorial compromise would in fact represent a very great victory for Ukraine and the West”) to an is-ought fallacy stating that one side’s war aims should be the “most likely” outcome (“Neither side is capable of a decisive military victory”). In putting forth these propositions, no consideration is given to the fact that doing so directly contravenes international law, legitimates aggression, evades accountability for war crimes, and provides no guarantees whatsoever that Moscow would respect any such agreement going forward. Indeed, surrendering territory to reward Russian aggression is an option rejected by most Ukrainians themselves, who, according to public opinion polling, show few signs of giving up the fight.
BILL KRISTOL: Putin’s Century?
VLADIMIR PUTIN TOOK POWER in 2000 in what then still seemed to be a nascent democratic and possibly liberalizing Russia. He has stayed in power ever since, and has ended Russian democracy and liberalization. He has ruthlessly and effectively used propaganda, intimidation, and violence—which has included killing political opponents inside and outside Russia—to stay in power. We frequently label the Putin pattern with the hesitant term “authoritarian.” But he’s not just authoritarian; he’s a dictator. He’s a twenty-first century fascist.
One could say that the twenty-first century has belonged to Vladimir Putin.
See you in the comments!
Congrats to the Texas Rangers! An impressive World Series victory, a first for the club since relocating from Washington.
“National Nancy…” A look at the staffing guide to her
PR firm Congressional office.
A touching Bobby Knight / Cleveland story… From Luke Epplin, author of Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball. (Which I highly recommend.)
Ken Buck’s retirement message… Sounds an awful lot like it could be an endorsement of Joe Biden, or should be, JVL observes.
Mike Johnson’s shady records… His financial disclosures are a mess, leading some to wonder if he even has a bank account.
Hunter Biden says constant 'demonization' of his alcohol addiction is making it harder for others to get sober… And you know what? He’s right.
AI Cameras Took Over One Small American Town…. Now They're Everywhere.
“It’s possible that some of these bomb threats were not even real bomb threats, you know…” The person behind “LibsofTikTok” is unapologetic when confronted about the predictable results of her work.
What the 2024 election is really about for Trump supporters: He promised them: “I am your retribution.”
Despicable Mark Levin… Sinks to a new low, claiming Wolf Blitzer’s parents were not victims of the Holocaust. In the same rant, he also claimed that Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer were “self-hating Jews.” BONUS: You will never unsee/hear this, as he is Master Shake’s doppelganger.
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