Will the National GOP Go the Way of the California GOP?
Plus, the Politics of Commencement Addresses.
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BRENT ORRELL: Will the National GOP Go the Way of the California GOP?
The political outlook for Democrats nationally is grim. Election forecasters are united in the view that the Biden doldrums, 8.3 percent inflation, and a sour public mood are leading to a historic wave that will install Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House and reinstall Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader.
Just a tiny problem, though. The Republican party, cracked all the way through by its devotion to Donald Trump’s 2020 election defeat mythology, shows signs it is bent on alienating itself from the political center of the country. At the congressional level, this won’t matter all that much since both parties have so artfully and completely gerrymandered the map that we have basically back-doored proportional representation in the House. The party that wins the most votes nationally is likely to win the House majority for the next ten years. Senate seats and state governorships, accountable to more diverse electorates where the Republican unreality is more dilute, are another matter. It is in these statewide races that we can begin to see how the GOP in the swing states is tracing the party’s trajectory in the state that still teaches us everything about the future: California.
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Roe has been vulnerable because it’s been about individual rights, and not the scope of government power — which was the focus of the Framers. Law professor Kim Wehle makes the case for keeping the government out of certain spheres of life on today’s podcast with Charlie Sykes.
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DANIEL MCGRAW: Putting One Million COVID Deaths in Context.
COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2021, after heart disease and cancer. And yet, some people dispute even this basic fact.
We’ve all had these conversations with people who argue that COVID-19 death numbers are exaggerated—meaning that there has been a daily conspiracy between 3,000 counties, 6,000 hospitals, 50 states, and the federal government, ongoing, for two years. Or it’s just old people dying, so it’s not a big deal. (Yes, the numbers skew older, but 18% of the deaths come from those in the 50-64 age group).
“You can’t separate our failure in the pandemic from conflicts over ideology and politics,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, in a recent interview. “The approach to the pandemic became enmeshed in people’s party affiliation and in their views towards government.”
New from me: The Politics of Commencement Addresses.
Were conservatives “shut out” from commencement speaking gigs this year? That’s what Young America’s Foundation, the conservative youth group, wants you to think.
A few things jump out at you when reading Zupkus’s blog post. First, although she writes that “the Class of 2022 will hear divisive speeches from many left-wing speakers,” the reality is that most of the speakers YAF classifies as “liberal” will probably not give very political speeches. Some will, of course, but most will presumably give normal commencement addresses—a few of them inspirational, with memorable stories; most of them boring and peppered with clichés; and probably very few of them stridently political.
So let’s check in on the McCloskeys…. You remember, Missouri’s gun toting lawyers whose sentence was doing pro-bono legal work for “poor or indigent Missouri residents” to retain their law licenses. The couple asked if James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas counted. They were turned down, but even appealed to the state supreme court, which also turned down the request. Mark McCloskey is still running for U.S. Senate, and the primary is in August.
Speaking of kooks running for Senate… Remember ethically challenged EPA administrator Scott Pruitt? He’s running in Oklahoma to fill the seat currently held by the retiring James Inhofe, who apparently is not a fan.
The cultural divide… Of rich Americans owning EPL soccer teams. Turns out our type of sports owner is not what fans are looking for.
And while we’re talking about football… There’s a scandal brewing in the SEC over whether or not teams are paying players to come there.
It’s back! Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza is back on the menu.
When Tucker asked Hunter Biden for a favor… A look at the emails, and when asked about them, he handled it about as maturely as you’d expect.
The White House has a record collection… But it needs updating.
Matt Labash has a short and testy intrafaith dialogue with a politicized pastor.
The murderous D.C. zoo fox meets his fate. Or was this the same fox? They did a DNA test so we should know soon.
What did you expect was going to happen? Remember the fight over the census and how it was stopped early? Well, shocking nobody, turns out that resulted in some big errors in counts for 14 states.
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