Jane Mayer/New Yorker:
State legislatures are setting democracy on fire
Even in moderate places like Ohio, gerrymandering has allowed unelected Republicans to pass radical legislation that could never get through Congress.
Longtime Ohio politicians have been shocked by the state’s shift to the center of radical legislation, not just on abortion, but on divisive issues like guns and transgender rights. “The Legislature is as barbaric, primitive and Neanderthal as any in the country,” Ted Strickland, a Democrat who served as governor between 2007 and 2011, told me. This is really disturbing. ” When he was governor, he recalled, the two parties worked well together, but politics in Ohio “have changed.” The story is similar in many other states with reputations for being moderate, such as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania: their legislatures have also begun proposing laws so far to the right that they may never pass the US Congress. were
Ken White (aka Popehat)/Substack:
When modern American political culture winds up in the courtroom, the effects are similar. Participants are speaking different languages, and using language in different ways. Courts are focused on the classification of words. Are they based on facts? Are they opinions? Are they literal or figurative? Courts are also concerned with the literal truth of words. This is central to defamation law – it is not defamation unless it is liar. Courts are about analysis, and the whole project of law is about words meaning particular things.
But modern American political culture is also passionate and artistic. It uses language like a musician uses notes or an impressionist uses brush strokes. Is it talking about Marjorie Taylor Green Bill Gates’ efforts to colonize our guts through “peach tree recipes”. Or Alex Jones talking about gay frogs, modern politicians and pundits use language to express feelings and attitudes and values, not for specific meanings. If you ask Alex Jones to defend the specific meaning of his words, it’s like asking your eight-year-old to defend his statement that his birthday party was the best day ever. He said about Disneyland. Trump was the Salvador Dali of this movement, his speeches filled with hours of anger and resentment. He was an artist of lies beneficial
Explainer: What’s next for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones
Jones faces a separate lawsuit in the same Austin court for damages for defaming the family of another victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. His lawyer said on Friday that the case is on hold due to the bankruptcy of his company.
Jones is facing a trial to determine damages in a separate case in Waterbury, Connecticut, after he lied to the families of several Sandy Hook victims about the Newtown, Connecticut shooting that killed 20 children and six staff members. was found liable by default judgment for defamation. .
Jones called the shooting a hoax by the U.S. government, demonstrating by using emergency actors to act as an excuse to take away Americans’ guns. He has since admitted that the massacre was real.
The Connecticut trial, which was scheduled to begin in September, was put on hold after Jones’ company, Free Speech Systems LLC, filed for bankruptcy last week. Jones said during Monday’s broadcast of his InfoWars program that the filing will help the company stay on the air while it appeals.
A Russian sociologist explains why Putin’s war is getting worseOren Bullhorn
So, you don’t think the majority supports the war?Boris Kagarlitsky
This is the most interesting social and political problem: the Russian people are neither for war nor against it. They do not react to war.
Of course, there are opinion polls published by pro-Kremlin media that are enthusiastically cited by Western and some pro-Ukrainian sources, trying to prove that all Russians support Putin and are fascists. But it has nothing to do with reality. As a sociologist, I can confirm that since the war, the number of people agreeing to answer opinion polls has fallen to a level that is grossly unrepresentative. It was below 30 percent before the war, which is already very low. Now, it’s considered a big success when 10 percent agree to respond. Usually it is 5 to 7 percent.
Of those 5 percent, about 65 to 70 percent support the war. There are two interpretations of this data. One, shared mostly by the liberal opposition, is that people are afraid to answer. I think not at all. Among the 95 percent who refuse to answer, there may be a substantial number who are against the war but dare not say so. My suspicion, though – which I can’t prove – is that most people have no opinion.
And the explanation as to why this is is interesting. Must read
Young progressives have every right to feel dissatisfied. They should vote anyway.
The Democratic leadership may be old and lame, but the Republicans are just as old and downright dangerous.
Voting based on the party you like least is not inspiring. But that is often what happens in a political system driven by negative polarization and the extreme threat posed by one of the two major parties.
Rex Hupke/USA Today:
Democrats are getting mean to Republicans on low gas prices, the PACT Act and other ways
They are also trying to help ex-servicemen and reduce inflation. The entire regime is an outrage that threatens the long-held Republican philosophy of helping only the rich.
You may have noticed the high gas prices The lows have quickly and brutally become high, a trend that, if it continues, threatens to rob Republicans of the clutches of a spectacular midterm election.
Democrats are to blame, no doubt, but lowering gas prices isn’t the only way they’re sticking it to well-meaning Republicans. They are also trying Help veterans And passing laws Aim to reduce inflation.
The entire regime is an outrage and a clear political shot at the long-held Republican philosophy that government should only help the rich.
Ronald Brownstein/The Atlantic:
Democrats can avoid a midterm wipeout
White-collar suburban voters will play a big role in the upcoming elections.
Polls show that many college-educated center-right voters have soured on the performance of Biden and Democrats controlling both congressional chambers. Yet with Tudor Dixon, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in Michigan, and Blake Masters, the party’s Senate pick in Arizona, Republicans have chosen candidates less suited to win back socially moderate white-collar voters, not by culture. To galvanize Trump’s working-class and non-urban base—war appeals such as support for near-total abortion bans. As the counts are released in Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial primary with Trump-backed Kari Lake moving into a lead, the top GOP nomination both there and in Michigan will likely be made up entirely of candidates who accept Trump’s lies. He won his state in 2020.
In the midterms, most Democratic strategists believe the party must find ways to counter the GOP’s strong showing during the Trump era with working-class voters. Its improvement since 2016 is especially among blue-collar Hispanics voter But with inflation severely squeezing the finances of many working- and middle-class families, it may be difficult for most Democratic candidates to gain much ground with such voters before November. Tom Davis, former chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, quotes the late political scientist Vo Key Jr. as saying that working-class voters “know that shoes are tight.”
The culture war may be a winning issue — for Democrats
Recent polling shows that gun control and abortion rights are moving voters
Pollsters found that 44 percent of voters “strongly disapprove” of Biden’s job performance, while only 19 percent “strongly approve,” and furthermore, only 44 percent of Democrats “strongly approve” of Biden’s accomplishments. are
It’s a reverse situation heading into the midterms when Biden and Democrats will depend on galvanizing radical partisans to get to the polls.
“The softer they think the president is,” said Newhouse, co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, “the harder it is to get them out.”
But their work also reflects a growing interest among Democratic voters and many independents in protecting gun control and abortion rights. That’s the kind of polling and research that supports what happened Tuesday in Kansas, when voters in another heavily conservative state overwhelmingly approved retaining abortion rights in their state constitution.