Second Thoughts On San Francisco?
Plus: Purging Liz Cheney. Again.
Lordy, there may be testimony.
“The New York attorney general can question Donald J. Trump and two of his adult children under oath as part of a civil inquiry into his business practices, a judge ruled on Thursday, rejecting the former president’s effort to block the interviews.”
Some Clarity on Ukraine
On the brink of a possible war, we got this bit of pre-game punditry from Jim Geraghty over at National Review.
If Russia invades, it means Biden is a mess who’s thoroughly ineffective, who can’t achieve his policy goals even when he and his team give 110 percent effort.
And the rest of the world, from Beijing to Pyongyang to Tehran, will know it.
There’s a lot of wrongness to unpack there, but let’s try, briefly. We’ve had our differences with Joe Biden, and haven’t stinted our criticism of his debacle in Afghanistan. But, three points: (1) Biden is actually doing a good job of handling this crisis (as Geraghty seemed to concede), (2) he’s hardly alone — the entire Western World is trying to deter Russian aggression, and (3) this war isn’t about Biden; it’s all Putin.
So, this seems a good time for some clarity about responsibility and blame from our own Bill Kristol:
[If] war comes, we need to be clear on one thing above all: It will be Putin’s war. There is no “need” for Russia and Ukraine to be at war. They could have tense relations, disputes, occasional border skirmishes even. But the choice for war will be Putin’s. And it won’t be driven by Russian public opinion, by elements of the Russian elite, by NATO expansion, or by geostrategic inevitability. It will be Putin’s war.
Revisiting San Francisco
I’d to extend and revise my remarks from yesterday in re San Francisco’s blowout recall vote. Some readers thought that it was too negative, and that I should have emphasized the upside of the Democratic purge of the crazies.
One of our readers, Kevin Senecal, commented:
This newsletter could easily have been written in a way to show that Democrats are taking action against their own pols that have gone too far. It could have been written in a positive voice that acknowledged Democratic leaders and voters are taking concrete steps to fix our perception problem. That they are taking the advice the Bulwark has been giving them for months now.
Instead the focus is "Boy, are these people crazy or what?"
David French also had a more upbeat tone in his Atlantic newsletter:
So that’s why San Francisco matters. Not because its eighth-grade math curriculum is relevant to me in Tennessee—and not because I particularly care what it calls its schools—but because when the exhausted majority stood up, it demonstrated that reason can, in fact, triumph over radicalism. America’s political future does not necessarily belong to its angry extremes.
And shots came from within the house. Here’s JVL’s take:
I suppose one way of looking at this is, “The lefty school-board members in SF are too crazy even for San Fran.” [My actual quote: “But the real headline here seems to be that it’s possible to be too woke even for San Francisco.’}
But another way of looking at it is: “Democratic voters working in concert with important Democratic politicians policed their own ranks and punished people pushing views that are out of step with mainstream America.”
I understand that many progs on Twitter were angry about this recall. But isn’t the more salient fact that Democratic voters and the city’s most important elected Democrat acted to correct course?
Does the Democratic party . . . not get any credit for that?
Me: Yes to all of that.
I think it’s fair to emphasize that the school board vote pitted liberals vs. leftists and made it clear that, despite what the Twitters would have you believe, the heart of the party — both its leadership and its base — is not woke/leftist. Even in San Francisco.
The defeat of the uber-wokesters was also an indication that the Democrats — unlike the GOP — retain a residue of sanity. So, to that extent, the vote was actually good news for national Democrats.
Democrats and their allies also need to realize that some of the issues popular on the left are absolutely toxic electorally. And they are killing Democrats across the country.
Don’t pretend it’s not happening, and don’t pretend it’s not a massive problem.
Especially because not everyone has gotten the memo.