Friday Talking Points -- This Is Shameful

[ Posted Friday, May 27th, 2022 – 17:01 UTC ]

Last week, America experienced a racist extremist shooting up a grocery store, in an effort to kill as many Black people as he could. This week, America had to once again watch as innocent schoolchildren age 10 or under were massacred for no reason whatsoever. This is who we are, and it is shameful.

It is not, however, who we want to be. The public wants more and tighter gun safety laws, by an overwhelming margin. But even in the wake of the horrors of yet another slaughter of innocents, most people who follow politics don't expect much of anything to change. No new laws will pass the Senate, or if something does manage to be worked out, it will be weak and watered-down and likely ineffective at stopping such outrages from regularly happening.

The Senate and the House are already on vacation, showing that they too know that any efforts to do anything meaningful are quite likely futile. This is not just shameful, it is an absolute disgrace.

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From The Archives -- A Sad New Normal

[ Posted Thursday, May 26th, 2022 – 15:55 UTC ]

Here we are again. That, as you'll see below, is how I started an article written five years ago, after the Las Vegas slaughter. Because I find I cannot write yet another one of these articles, when nothing has changed and nothing is likely to change any time soon.

Politico just put out some new poll numbers, from an insta-poll taken after the Uvalde, Texas school massacre. They show pretty much where the American public has stood for quite some time now: gun control measures are either popular or overwhelmingly popular. By the numbers:

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Trump Humiliated By Georgia Voters

[ Posted Wednesday, May 25th, 2022 – 15:37 UTC ]

There's an old adage that says success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Last night's election results in Georgia, however, did indeed have a single clear father, and his name is Donald Trump. Not that he'll admit this fact, even with the proof of a paternity test. But perhaps I'm stretching the metaphor a bit too far, so let's begin again, shall we?

After Georgia's primary, many are today proclaiming that Trump is now a paper tiger within the Republican Party and that it is safe for candidates to buck both him and his toxic Big Lie that the last election was somehow stolen from him (spoiler alert: it wasn't). This may be overstating the case, but it is undeniable that Trumpism suffered a big and humiliating body blow last night.

Trump had a singular focus on Georgia, where he hand-picked candidates for: U.S. senator, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and (why not?) insurance commissioner. Only two out of Trump's six candidates won their GOP primaries (for senator and lieutenant governor), but the big embarrassment was that the ones Trump really wanted to win lost -- badly. They got absolutely spanked, in fact.

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Massive Election Fraud Uncovered -- Guess Which Party It Would Have Helped?

[ Posted Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 – 15:02 UTC ]

Finally, a truly massive amount of election fraud has been uncovered! You'd think all of the blind adherents to Donald Trump's Big Lie conspiracy theory would be overjoyed, but that's likely not going to be the case. Because -- as has indeed happened repeatedly in the recent past -- the exposed fraud was intended to benefit Republicans. Strange how this all seems more and more like just a massive case of projection, eh?

The fraud at hand didn't involve actual votes or actual ballots, this time. It involved signatures on petitions for candidates. But unlike most of the GOP fraud that has been exposed in the past year or so, this one was a concerted effort and involved tens of thousands of signatures -- not a ballot here and a ballot there, filled out in some recently-dead relative's name, in an attempt to boost Donald Trump's vote. Here is the story, as Salon reports:

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Next Up: Georgia And Texas

[ Posted Monday, May 23rd, 2022 – 16:37 UTC ]

As we continue to wend our way through primary season, we now turn to the two states with the most interesting races to be decided tomorrow: Texas and Georgia. Georgia is more interesting on the Republican side, while there's one Texas race that Democrats will be closely watching.



The two big reasons why Georgia is so interesting are that there are multiple races to watch, and Donald Trump cares more about the outcome here than perhaps in any other state in the country (with the possible exception of Liz Cheney's bid for re-election in Wyoming).

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Friday Talking Points -- The Blunderful Blizzard Of Oz

[ Posted Friday, May 20th, 2022 – 17:55 UTC ]

We were reminded of the whole Wonderful Wizard of Oz metaphor early this week, when we saw Mehmet "Dr." Oz at a last-minute Pennsylvania campaign rally, holding up his smartphone to the crowd, as the disembodied voice of the great MAGA Dear Leader bellowed forth bombast and nonsense to the crowd. All it needed was some smoke and fireballs at the sides of the stage, really. It seemed to us (but then we do have a rather warped sense of humor...) that Oz was begging the crowd to please pay lots of attention to the man behind the curtain.

We must admit, we haven't seen the ads that ran in the Keystone State during the Republican primary, but we wouldn't be surprised if at least one of them has just had to go with an L. Frank Baum-inspired metaphor. It's there for the taking, with his last name, right? So why not?

However, it is now Friday, and even though we have no idea who will emerge the victor of the Senate GOP nominating contest, Donald Trump is already teeing up a new round of "I wuz robbed!" on Oz's behalf. We do have to wonder if this blizzard of bovine excrement is going to have any repercussions in the fall, though -- repercussions which could wind up helping the rather-impressive Democratic candidate in the race. Could this be a gigantic blunder in the making? One can only hope....

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Madison Cawthorn's Dark MAGA

[ Posted Thursday, May 19th, 2022 – 15:02 UTC ]

Representative Madison Cawthorn lost his primary race this week to a challenger who won mostly just by not being a human Dumpster fire. Someone who is actually sane, in other words. Anyone familiar with Cawthorn's single term in office breathed an immense sigh of relief when the results were announced, and we political wonks finally had a second answer to the question: "What does it take in today's Republican Party to become a complete outcast and pariah?" Or, more simply: "How far is too far to go?" Apparently the new answer to all that (the old answer being: "Obeying your constitutional oath," as Liz Cheney has admirably proven) is now: "Accusing your fellow Republicans of rampant cocaine use and hosting orgies." This is the new GOP standard -- it's fine to spout conspiracy theories and whip up White supremacy and anti-government violence, but for Heaven's sake don't say we're all coke-crazed sex maniacs or anything!

I'm sorry, but it's really hard not to see all of this with irony and sarcasm, since I can actually remember when the Republican Party was supposedly built around "family values" and being holier-than-thou on just about any subject under the sun. Ah... memories....

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A Good Night For Progressives

[ Posted Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 – 17:10 UTC ]

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party had a pretty good night in last night's primaries. It wasn't a complete sweep, but there was a lot more positive news than negative, for once. The big-money establishment Democrats were soundly defeated in a number of races, some of them in very blue House districts -- meaning the progressive is almost certain to win in November. Not every race is going to be a cakewalk, but at this point the Democrats' chances look pretty good.

The center-ring race was the Senate primary in Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman soundly defeated centrist Conor Lamb -- by over 30 points. Fetterman just suffered a minor stroke and had a pacemaker installed on the day of the election, but none of that stopped him from chalking up a very impressive victory last night. Fetterman doesn't like the label "progressive," he sees himself as more of a robust fighter for the little guy, but when you compare the two candidates, Fetterman was far more progressive than Lamb. One of Fetterman's signature issues was the legalization of marijuana, for instance. He also supports a $15 minimum wage and getting rid of the legislative filibuster in the Senate so Democrats can actually get some stuff done. Lamb, on the other hand, was backed by Senator Joe Manchin from next-door West Virginia -- which says just about all you need to know about Lamb, really.

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Rather Interesting Tuesday

[ Posted Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 – 15:45 UTC ]

Today is a big primary day, and it could perhaps be the most interesting in this year's election calendar. It's not officially "Super Tuesday," but it might at least be considered "Rather Interesting Tuesday." There are multiple close races to watch, there are both ideological battles and personality contests in both parties, and the punditocracy is going to go into high gear afterwards drawing all sorts of conclusions on a nationwide basis (on races that may in fact only be limited to very local issues, or the strengths and weaknesses of individual candidates). So it's going to be a big night, no matter what happens. But everyone should keep in mind that these are just the primaries -- which means a big win for one faction or another tonight might translate into a big loss for the party in November.

This isn't true everywhere, of course. There are primary races taking place in either deep blue or deep red districts or states that are, for all intents and purposes, the general election. Whichever candidate wins tonight in these places will be almost guaranteed to skate to victory in November. In many of these contests, winning an ideological battle means increasing one faction or the other's clout in the new Congress next year (or the governor's office). But there are plenty of other races where the general election race will actually be competitive, and in those the big question is going to be: "How extreme is too extreme?"

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Passion Versus The Establishment In Pennsylvania

[ Posted Monday, May 16th, 2022 – 16:27 UTC ]

It now looks like tomorrow's Senate primaries in Pennsylvania might just set up a very interesting race in November's general election. Because it is looking like we might wind up with two very passionate and non-conventional "from the people" nominees, one from the left and one from the right. So we will finally get to see a race in a very purple state (which could easily go either way in November) with a contest between a true MAGA and a real progressive, both willing to get down and dirty fighting for what they believe.

This is causing much consternation in both parties, it bears mentioning. Both the Republican and Democratic "establishment" wings are rooting for much more conventional candidates, ones that they see as far more electable than the wild cards. Right now it appears that this is a losing battle on the Democratic side, and on the Republican side it seems the contest is now between two separate MAGA candidates while the establishment choice seems to be lagging badly in third place.

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