The GOP Field Is United: January 6th Is Not a Thing
Plus: Is CPAC Our Future?
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A.B. Stoddard: The GOP Field Is United: January 6th Is Not a Thing.
One of the intriguing questions of the 2024 campaign is how Republican candidates will position themselves regarding Trump’s January 6th insurrection. So far, the Republicans who want to be president simply refuse to mention it.
Credit where it is due: Asa Hutchinson recently said Donald Trump had “disqualified himself and should not serve our country again as a result of what happened” on January 6th. But the former Arkansas governor is polling at zero percent. If you want to sit at the back of the pack in the GOP primary you can keep it real, but if you want to get some traction with the Republican base you better forget the 45th president’s attempted coup. And the dead and injured cops. And Trump siccing a mob on his vice president. That’s behind us.
It’s no surprise that in safe media spaces on the right, GOP contenders aren’t asked whether someone who tried to overthrow the government can be trusted to lead it again. The Real Americans who decide GOP primaries won’t permit it. Even as Trump celebrates it with a song.
BILL LUEDERS: A Pitched Battle for Wisconsin Supreme Court.
One thing both candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court and their supporters agree on is that nobody wants an extremist to win the April 4 election. What they differ over is which candidate is the extremist.
Making matters more dicey in what the New York Times has called“arguably the most important election in America in 2023,” both candidates—former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz—are accusing the other, essentially, of condoning child rape.
Tucker’s attempting to white-wash Jan 6, Trump and DeSantis have a thing against prosecutors, Kari says we’ll have world peace again with Trump capitulating to Putin, and Michael Knowles intentionally used eliminationist rhetoric about transgenderism. Will Saletan is back with Charlie Sykes.
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JOE WALSH: Is CPAC Our Future?
I mean, I get it. The sights and sounds of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) are eminently mockable. There was Steve Bannon accusing Fox News of stealing the election from Donald Trump. And Marjorie Taylor Greene lying that Ukraine President Zelensky demanded American “sons and daughters to go die in Ukraine.” And nearly 90 percent of attendees saying they would never again take a COVID vaccine. And Kari Lake calling Bannon a “modern-day George Washington” before she was picked the top choice to be vice president of the United States. And Lauren Boebert strutting and yelling on stage. And Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro claiming his election was stolen. And MyPillow’s Mike Lindell . . . well, speaking at all.
So yeah, I get it. CPAC was, once again, a boiling cauldron of batshit-crazy stew. But we can’t let the laughter and the richly deserved mockery lead us to not take these people seriously, to dismiss them. To do so would be a mistake—the sort of mistake that put Donald Trump in the White House in 2016 and almost kept him there in 2020.
JOE PERTICONE: Ted Cruz Doesn’t Want to Talk About Eradicating “Transgenderism.”
Monday evening in the Capitol, I asked Cruz simply if he agreed with Knowles that “transgenderism” should be eradicated. Cruz immediately launched into a tirade about the state of the press, saying, “I think the left-wing media is trying to do everything they can to take his comments out of context.”
“Both Rolling Stone and the Daily Beast had to issue corrections of their false hit-piece stories,” Cruz added. “There’s a reason people are fed up with the press playing partisan gotcha politics and misleading the American people.”
I reiterated my question, simply asking if he agreed with what Knowles said. Cruz then told me “Your question is silly” and walked out the door.
Happy Tuesday! I just finished Michael Fanone’s book, Hold the Line, and if you haven’t read it yet, do so. I couldn’t put it down. It will make you mad, sad, but most importantly, proud of some of our fellow Americans, like him. Among the new footage released today was the revelation that J6 insurrectionists raided an old office belonging to a Senate colleague of mine, which they defecated in. May justice come swiftly.
“I was there and I was responsible for it.” An Ohio man, sentenced to 49 months, takes responsibilities for his actions on Jan. 6. The judge observed he was only the second defendant to apologize for his actions.
Show-Me State update… A dangerous Missouri gun law passed was struck down by a federal court. The innocuous-sounding “Second Amendment Preservation Act” actually “provides that all federal laws and acts that infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment are invalid in Missouri, are not recognized by Missouri, and are rejected by Missouri.” A judge rejected this, saying “By declaring federal firearms regulations invalid as to the state, § 1.430 violates intergovernmental immunity on its face.” Missouri, as you’d expect, is appealing.
Show-Me intraparty fighting! The culture war is alive and well, as state representatives debated a Republican proposal to limit discussion of sexual orientation in the classroom. Roll tape:
Mitch vs. Kevin vs. Tucker… Many Senate Republicans, likely at the urging of Leader McConnell, have been uncharacteristically on message: January 6 was bad! Siding with the USCP chief, who issued this scathing letter after Tucker Carlson tried painting 1/6 as “mostly peaceful.” Even people who share some of the blame, like Sen. Kennedy!
“fools and crazies and so forth…” Sen. Mitt Romney observes “sometimes self-own is an ugly reality."
“So folks, as we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare off the books now, right?” Biden’s corner at the SOTU is paying off. Kevin McCarthy is facing pressure from the right, a debt limit bomb, and he can’t touch entitlements. His chief of staff relayed to a friend: ‘McCarthy is in a nearly impossible bind, having vowed to advance a budget proposal that eradicates the deficit in a decade without touching Medicare and Social Security or increasing taxes.’ Who coulda seen that coming?
Did PFAS at The Vet… Contribute to the death of pro athletes?
Hermit crabs in captivity… Your #longread of the day.
Move over, Moon Swatch… The European Space Agency wants to come up with Moon Time.
Exploring Disney’s secret trove of art… Take a look behind the scenes.
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