Is it Time for the GOP to Panic?
(Spoiler alert: Yes.)
Well, a blessed Easter to you too.
Need I mention that this is the man embraced by the vast majority of Evangelical voters? And who is frequently described as a fierce defender of the faith, and occasionally even compared to Jesus Christ? Here is Claremont Fellow Paul Ingrassia:
Over the weekend, a viral snarky tweet made the point: While some claim that the problem of Christianity is that it’s not taught in schools; the real problem of Christianity is that it is not, apparently, taught in churches.
Meanwhile… “Majority of Americans believe Trump did something illegal: POLL”
With former President Donald Trump now formally charged on criminal charges, a majority of Americans (53%) believe he intentionally did something illegal, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll.
An additional 11% say he acted wrongly but not intentionally. Only 20% believe Trump did not do anything wrong, and 16% say they don't know…
Views of Trump overall have taken a hit too, with only 25% thinking favorably of him, down 10 points since right before the last presidential election. In comparison, President Joe Biden's favorability rating currently stands at 34%, according to the poll.
The right’s id run amok
From Tennessee to Texas, conservative activists are pushing the envelope, and it’s not working out well for them.
Via Josh Kraushaar at Axios: “GOP's stormy 2024 outlook.”
This week marked a low point for Republicans as they prepare for the 2024 elections: Former President Trump is once again the dominant force in the party, which is showing little indication of trying to appeal to swing voters.
So. Much Losing.
On the same day as Trump's arraignment, voters in swing-state Wisconsin decisively rejected a right-wing judicial candidate in favor of a progressive one.
The election was fought predominantly over abortion rights, as Republicans continue to push for restrictions beyond what the public supports.
In the run-up to his likely presidential campaign, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — the leading Trump alternative in the GOP — is expected to sign a six-week abortion ban that just passed Florida's Senate.
The Cook Political Report's David Wasserman noted that Democratic gains in pivotal swing states — namely Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — have been driven by an uptick in support from white working-class voters over abortion rights.
The bottom line? Here’s Kraushaar’s take:
We're a deeply divided and polarized country, split closely between left and right.
But Trump's legal predicament combined with the GOP's exposure on abortion is giving the Democrats a small but important advantage heading into a pivotal election year.
Biden holds historically low approval ratings himself. Democrats are vulnerable on the economy, crime and immigration. But they have shown an ability to moderate when necessary.
Until Republican voters show they're capable of doing the same, Democrats will hold the edge in 2024.
Via Politico: “Abortion was a 50/50 issue. Now, it’s Republican quicksand.”
Conservatives are finding out the hard way that abortion isn’t a 50-50 issue anymore.
Janet Protasiewicz’s 11-point blowout victory this week for a state Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin was just the latest example of voters who support abortion rights outnumbering — and outvoting — their opponents. There was little polling in Tuesday’s race, but in a 2022 midterm exit poll of the state, a combined 63 percent of Wisconsin voters said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while only 34 percent thought it should be illegal in all or most cases.
For the second time in a week, the Wall Street Journal is sounding the alarm:
Abortion has been a political gift to Democrats that they want to keep giving, which explains why they sounded almost gleefully furious on Friday after a Texas federal judge overruled the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone….
But, but, but…
This seems like a very bad idea: “AOC urges Biden to ignore Texas ruling suspending approval of abortion drug.”
As Politico’s Playbook notes, “[That] carries major risks for Dems by threatening to change the topic of debate from the merits of the judge’s controversial verdict, to a debate about democracy and the rule of law.”
The GOP’s youth problem
In the wake of last week’s shellacking in WI, my old friend, Scott Walker,has some thoughts: It’s all about the youngs.
Walker knows that the GOP has major problems with women and suburban voters too, but he is marketing his new gig, the Young America’s Foundation which promises well-heeled donors that it can turn around the demographic tsunami.
YAF’s homepage proclaims: “The Conservative Movement Starts Here,” followed by a pantheon of right-wing worthies like Ted Cruz (!), former OANN host Liz Wheeler, Ben Shapiro, former Congressman and current crank Allen West, and well-known anti-feminist Matt Walsh.
I wrote about this back in 2021:
Walker could have chosen from a broad range of conservative officeholders, thinkers, writers, and scholars. Instead…
There is Dinesh D’Souza, the ex-felon who has built a brand on revisionist crank history.
YAF also features the master of lib-owning clickbait, Ben Shapiro, and his colleague Michael Knowles, who called for the “eradication,” of transgenderism at the recent CPAC.
YAF’s list of speakers also includes this homunculus:
Exit take: Maybe this strategy isn’t working.
1. So Much for ‘Elon Musk, Free Speech Warrior’
In today’s Bulwark, Cathy Young writes that the Twitter-Substack clash has caused even some hardcore Musk supporters to jump ship.
The Twitter-Substack war is not the only speech restriction controversy in which the self-styled “free speech absolutist” Musk has found himself on the egregiously wrong side. There’s also the fact that Twitter has been accommodating demands by the increasingly authoritarian government of India under populist prime minister Narendra Modi to disable the accounts of opposition politicians, activists, and journalists—including some who live outside India. Add to this the recent revelation that the Twitter algorithm has been directed to downrank tweets about “the Ukraine Crisis,” which just happens to coincide with Musk’s increasingly overt antipathy to Western support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s war of aggression.
2. The Racial Element of Trump’s Attacks on His Prosecutors
Jill Lawrence: Why it matters that he calls them “racist” and “animal.”
With his trademark self-owning projection, Trump has attacked all three black prosecutors investigating him as “racist.” In his post-arraignment Mar-a-Lago rant, he referred to Willis as “a local racist Democrat district attorney in Atlanta who is doing everything in her power to indict me over an absolutely perfect phone call.” James, he added, is “another racist in reverse.” He spared Bragg that particular word that night, but he had already called him an “animal” and warned of “potential death and destruction” if he were to be charged. He was back at it Sunday night with a Truth Social post that started, “Just like New York, the Racist District Attorney in Atlanta . . . ”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) poked fun at former President Trump’s speech from his Mar-a-Lago resort after being arrested last week, saying it sounded like a man at a bar “griping to you about his bad divorce.”
“That sounded to me like a guy that you’d encounter in a bar who you’d wind up sitting next to and he’s griping to you about his bad divorce,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
The pull quote that set up today’s cogent piece was, “Over the weekend, a viral snarky tweet made the point: While some claim that the problem of Christianity is that it’s not taught in schools; the real problem of Christianity is that it is not, apparently, taught in churches.” I’m gonna use it when I share the article. Thanks, again!
<b>a majority of Americans (53%) believe he intentionally did something illegal</b>
Wait until they start presenting evidence.