Crackups, Proxy Wars, and Third Parties
Plus: How RonAnon wins another term
In today’s Morning Shots:
How RonAnon wins another term
The American Right’s Orban problem
Manchin hands Biden a win
On Thursday, we got another dose of bad economic news… the second consecutive quarter of GDP losses.
But, ICYMI, Joe Biden is having a Not Terrible legislative week. The senate passed a bipartisan bill to help semiconductor production. And, in a move that seems to have caught officials Washington by surprise, Joe Manchin says he is on board with a major climate-health-economy bill. It’s a big deal. Via the NYT: “Surprise Deal Would Be Most Ambitious Climate Action Undertaken by U.S.”
It’s not Build Back Better. The new version embraced by Manchin is being called the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.” As a matter of branding, that’s… not awful.
Cracks in the Fox-Trump Bromance?
The other day I was asked about the significance of the cracks in the conservative media. Two Murdoch papers — the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post — had run scathing denunciations of the former president, and curious minds wanted to know whether this was the beginning of a tectonic shift in the right-wing media.
My first instinct was to scoff because, well, we were talking about newspaper editorials which no longer have the clout they never really had in the past. So, I suggested, get back to me when there was a less Trumpy vibe on Fox News’ prime time shows.
Well, it appears that I may need to extend and revise my remarks. Via my good friend Jeremy Peters in the NYT:
When former President Donald J. Trump spoke to a friendly crowd on Tuesday in his first visit to Washington since leaving office, he was covered extensively by a range of news outlets, both mainstream ones and those more sympathetic to him.
There was one notable outlier: Fox News.
The network, which helped make Mr. Trump a force on the American right, devoted little airtime to his speech. It did not broadcast his remarks live — and hasn’t done so for most of his rallies over the past year.
But it did go live with a competing speech that former Vice President Mike Pence delivered the same day, at a hotel less than a mile away. For roughly 17 minutes on Tuesday afternoon, Fox viewers heard Mr. Pence uninterrupted.
Looking for another quasi-signal?
On Friday, for instance, when Mr. Trump was speaking to a crowd of supporters in Arizona before the state’s Aug. 2 primary elections, Fox News kept its usual programming schedule, with one twist. Laura Ingraham’s 10 p.m. program featured her interview with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is widely believed to be considering a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
You know who’s noticing this sort of thing? “Trump says 'Fox & Friends' has 'gone to the dark side' after the show's hosts mentioned polls showing Ron DeSantis beating him in 2024.”
Exit take: There’s a long way to go and Murdoch always has a finger in the wind, so Fox has plenty of time to pivot back into the fold.
This is how RonAnon wins
Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, another proxy war in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Trump has endorsed businessman Tim Michels, but yesterday his former veep, publicly backed Scott Walker’s lieutnant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch.
Pence and Trump were on opposite sides earlier this week in Arizona, another state, like Wisconsin, where Trump's false claims about the 2020 election have been a flashpoint.
And in the high-stakes senate race, Democrats appear to be clearing the field for progressive Mandela Barnes. Over the last few days, two of his rivals — Alex Lasry and Tom Nelson — dropped out of the race and endorsed Barnes, who is WI’s incumbent lieutenant governor.