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The Real Goal of the Jan. 6th Committee
Plus, The Complicated Place of Men in the Abortion Debates.
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WILLIAM SALETAN: The Real Goal of the Jan. 6th Committee.
The investigation has found plenty of evidence that Donald Trump and people around him broke the law. Ideally, that evidence will lead to prosecutions. But even if Trump and his accomplices don’t go to jail, the country needs to be immunized against his lies about the election and the insurrection.
Those lies haven’t gone away. They’ve been taken up by Republican candidates and are widely believed by rank-and-file Republicans. In a recent Economist/YouGov survey, 75 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of registered voters still say Joe Biden didn’t legitimately win the election.
This is the audience the committee wants to reach. Hardcore deniers won’t listen, but there’s a broader audience of conservative skeptics—people who don’t trust Democrats or the mainstream media—who need to hear the truth about the election and the insurrection. And they need to hear it from witnesses they’re likely to trust: those who supported Trump or worked for him.
DAVID MASCIOTRA: The Right’s Antisemitism Problem—and the Left’s.
One of the few points of agreement between the left and right is that hatred of Jews is acceptable political behavior. As alarming evidence of rising antisemitism gathers throughout the United States and Europe, mainstream media and political culture react with a collective yawn to a form of bigotry that doubles as a lethal conspiracy theory.
Leon Saltiel, a World Jewish Congress representative at the United Nations and grandchild of Holocaust survivors, recently wrote that as the world’s “oldest hatred,” antisemitism “exposes the failings in each society.” The United States certainly has its share of failings to expose. It is not a surprise that antisemitism is part of the combustible mix of authoritarian politics, anti-intellectualism, and the growing popularity of conspiracy theories, but it is disturbing that it comes from a variety of sources—and that it is rarely treated as a major problem.
When Trump refused to accept the outcome of the election, he cooked up a scheme to keep himself in office, unleashed the mob, and proved how dangerous an unprincipled demagogue in the White House can be. Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
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Men have always had an uneasy place in the abortion debate. For the pro-choice side, pro-choice men are welcome allies—but ones who have a dubious right to speak on the issue, rather than defer to female voices, and who can always be called out en masse for various sexist offenses. Men are also, by virtue of their gender, linked to the patriarchy that is taken to be the force behind abortion bans and restrictions—laws that pro-choice activists see as both a push for male power over women and an illustration of male privilege. It’s a view pithily summed up by Gloria Steinem decades ago: “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”
On the pro-life side, many advocates are understandably concerned about giving the impression that their cause is all about men telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. That stereotype persists despite the presence of many prominent women in the pro-life movement—including the activist who got Donald Trump to commit to nominating Supreme Court justices opposed to abortion, Marjorie Dannenfelser—and has been boosted by such bad optics as the pictures of President George W. Bush signing a bill banning partial-birth abortions as an all-male group of lawmakers looks on. Pro-life advocates of both sexes are also anxious to distance themselves from punitive or stigmatizing attitudes toward sexually active women; ironically, the result is that they often cast men as the villains in the story of abortion.
DANIEL MCGRAW: The Shooting of Jayland Walker Doesn’t Feed Any Narrative.
On June 27, an unarmed man in Akron, Ohio, was shot by police more than 60 times. This case is worth studying because it is a textbook example in how facts matter and narratives can distort.
Most of the contemporaneous discussion around the shooting broke down into the predictable camps: conservatives defended the police; liberals saw it as another example of police brutality. But in reality, the shooting in Akron falls into a gray area where ideas about “public safety” and “deadly force” intersect in ways without obvious correct answers.
Yesterday’s D.C.-area storm… Was like ID4. We got home just in time!
David Schweikert sucks. This isn’t his first rodeo, accusing opponents of being gay.
How Georgia’s ballot access laws keep the duopoly going… And help candidates like Marjorie Taylor-Greene.
An abortion compromise… That will never happen.
Where are you on this chart? It’s an interesting chart, as our friend Ben Dreyfuss observes. It’s sort of like “It’s the Economy, Stupid!” but, now, about democracy.
An interview with Matt Labash… It was supposed to be about film, but quickly went off the rails.
A song for Dad. Comedian and actor Jon Lajoie has this, and it's worth a listen.
Mesquite, Texas. Open for business? Or redlining?
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.