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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Trumpists Mess Up Michigan GOP

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state party organizations and campaign finance.

Nick Corasaniti
The mutiny took hold on Mackinac Island.

The Michigan Republican Party’s revered two-day policy and politics gathering, the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, was an utter mess.

Attendance had plummeted. Top-tier presidential candidates skipped the September event, and some speakers didn’t show. Guests were baffled by a scoring system that rated their ideology on a scale, from a true conservative to a so-called RINO, or Republican in name only.

And the state party, already deeply in debt, had taken out a $110,000 loan to pay the keynote speaker, Jim Caviezel, an actor who has built an ardent following among the far right after starring in a hit movie this summer about child sex trafficking. The loan came from a trust tied to the wife of the party’s executive director, according to party records.

For some Michigan Republicans, it was the final straw for a chaotic state party leadership that has been plagued by mounting financial problems, lackluster fund-raising, secretive meetings and persistent infighting. Blame has centered on the fiery chairwoman, Kristina Karamo, who skyrocketed to the top of the state party through a combative brand of election denialism but has failed to make good on her promises for new fund-raising sources and armies of activists.

The pitched battle for control of the state party in a pre-eminent presidential battleground is the most extreme example of conflicts brewing in state Republican parties across the country. Once dominated largely by moneyed establishment donors and their allies, many state parties have been taken over by grass-roots Republican activists energized by former President Donald J. Trump and his broadsides against the legitimacy of elections.

These activists, now holding positions of state and local power, have elevated others who share their views, prioritizing election denialism over experience and credentials.

The result has been fund-raising problems and division. The Republican Party of Arizona spent much of this year in debt.
The Republican Party of Georgia has had similar difficulties, mostly caused by legal fees related to efforts to subvert the 2020 election. The state’s governor, Brian Kemp, a rare G.O.P. leader to buck Mr. Trump, had been forced to form his own political apparatus outside the state party for his re-election campaign in 2022. The leaders of the party in both states have aligned themselves with the election-denial movement.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Pardoner'sTale

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The 2024 race has begun.

Jacob Knutson at Axios:
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said if she is elected president, she would pardon former President Trump if he's convicted of a crime, saying the amnesty would be "in the best interest of the country."

 Haley joins her fellow Republicans Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy in signaling support for a possible pardon for Trump.

What they're saying: "I would pardon Trump," Haley said.She was responding to a 9-year-old boy's question at a New Hampshire campaign event NBC News covered.
"If he is found guilty, a leader needs to think about what's in the best interest of the country," she added. "What's in the best interest of the country is not to have an 80-year-old man sitting in jail that continues to divide our country."
"What's in the best interest of the country would be to pardon him so that we can move on as a country and no longer talk about him," Haley said.

Of note: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday slammed Haley for making the remarks before the trial in the election interference case against Trump even started.Christie has also skewered Haley several times in recent days, primarily over declining to say that slavery was the cause of the Civil War at a campaign event on Wednesday.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Trump Off the Maine Ballot

Our recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie And we now know how close he came to subverting the Constitution. 

Zach Montellaro at Politico:
Maine’s top election official ejected former President Donald Trump from the state’s ballot on Thursday, declaring him ineligible to serve as president because of his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress.

The ruling by Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, is certain to inflame a roaring national debate over whether the Republican presidential frontrunner should be allowed to hold power again.

The decision makes Maine the second state in two weeks to disqualify Trump’s candidacy due to the constitutional bar on officeholders who supported or “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” Last week the Colorado Supreme Court barred Trump from the state’s Republican primary ballot under a similar interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

Bellows’ decision on Thursday increases the pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and ultimately decide Trump’s fate — as the Colorado GOP petitioned the justices this week to do.

Unlike the Colorado ruling, this one comes from an individual officeholder affiliated with the Democratic Party. And Maine, unlike Colorado, has been a presidential battleground in recent years; under an unusual state law, it cast one of its Electoral College votes for Trump in both 2016 and 2020.

Trump was quick to attack the decision, with an aide calling it “partisan election interference.” But his removal from the ballot in two states remains a stark illustration of his deep legal and political vulnerabilities.

Bellows, who made the call in Maine because state law requires the secretary to adjudicate ballot challenges to candidates’ eligibility, defended her decision in her determination.

“I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment,” Bellows wrote. “I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection.”

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Haley and the Civil War

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The 2024 race has begun.

Meryl Kornfield reports on Nikki Haley's appearance in Berlin, NH, where she answered a question about the origins of the Civil War.

She paused and responded, “Well, don’t come with an easy question.” Then she proceeded to answer.

“I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run, the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do,” Haley said.

She then turned the question to the man who asked it: “What do you think the cause of the Civil War was?”

The man responded that he is not running for president and wanted to hear her thoughts.

“I think it always comes down to the role of government and what the rights of the people are,” Haley continued. “And I will always stand by the fact that I think government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people. It was never meant to be all things to all people. Government doesn’t need to tell you how to live your life. They don’t need to tell you what you can and can’t do. They don’t need to be a part of your life.”

When Haley ran for governor of South Carolina in 2010, she addressed the Civil War during a private meeting with two leaders of Confederate heritage groups. She called it a fight between “tradition” and “change.”

“You see passions on different sides,” she said at the time. during comments that were captured on video and previously reported by The Washington Post. “I don’t think anyone does anything out of hate.”

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Doing Fine, Feeling Bad

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the politics of economic policyObjective indicators are doing great.

Unemployment was 3.7 percent in November.

Inflation was an 3.1 percent.

Real disposable personal income was up 0.4 percent in November

The Dow Jones was above 37,000, a record high.

So why are Americans still grumpy?

Justin Lahart at WSJ:

It could also be that, even though inflation has been cooling, Americans’ recent inflation experiences have left a more lasting mark. The Labor Department’s measure of consumer prices was 19% higher in November than it was before the pandemic hit. An analysis conducted by economists Ryan Cummings and Neale Mahoney suggests that the impact of inflation shocks on sentiment have a sort of half life, decaying over time.

The pandemic itself left a mark, too. Americans collectively went through one of the most wrenching periods the country has experienced in living memory. Expecting them to feel better just because the economy has been doing pretty well lately might be a bit much.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Word Cloud Trump

 Our books have discussed Trump's low character.  

Brian Metzger at Business Insider:

Fresh off of declaring that he's "not a student of Hitler," former President Donald Trump posted an image that highlighted voters' concerns about a potential second term.

In a Truth Social post on Tuesday afternoon, Trump posted a world cloud from a Daily Mail article in which 1000 likely voters were asked to use one word to describe the political goals of Trump and President Joe Biden — the all-but-certain presidential nominees for their respective parties in 2024 — in a second term.

The biggest words in Biden's word cloud — meaning the most frequently used — included "nothing," "economy," "peace," and "power."

Trump's world cloud, on the other hand, prominently featured the words "revenge," "power," "dictatorship," and "economy."

He actually thought that this word cloud was a good thing.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Trump Season

 Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The 2024 race has begun.

Former President Donald Trump reupped his hateful rhetoric about immigrants in two campaign stops over the weekend, twice saying that immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country.” A similar version of the phrase appears in Adolf Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kampf, a book that some doubt Trump has read. However, in a 1990 interview with Vanity Fair, Trump’s first ex-wife Ivana Trump said the future president kept a collection of Hitler’s speeches in their bedroom.

According to the post-divorce profile of the couple by Marie Brenner, Ivana — pictured above in 1988 with her then-husband after she was sworn in as a United States citizen — recounted an instance of a Trump Organization employee greeting his boss: “[W]hen he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, ‘Heil Hitler,’ possibly as a family joke.”

Sunday, December 24, 2023

How DeSantis Failed

 Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The 2024 race has begun.  The DeSantis campaign has been troubled.  DeSantis is struggling in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Shane Goldmacher, Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Nehamas at NYT:

Cash is scarce as the caucuses near. Never Back Down, which spent heavily to knock on doors in far-flung states like North Carolina and California last summer, canceled its remaining television ads in Iowa and New Hampshire on Friday, though new pro-DeSantis super PACs are picking up the slack.
Federal records show that, by the time of the Iowa caucuses, the DeSantis campaign is on pace to spend significantly more on private jets — the governor’s preferred mode of travel — than on airing television ads.


In Mr. Trump, the governor has also found himself running against a rival who filled the upper ranks of his operation with veteran consultants that Mr. DeSantis had discarded. The Trump team used its insider knowledge of his idiosyncrasies and insecurities to mercilessly undermine him, from his footwear to his facial expressions, starting months before he entered the race.

The first week of April — days after the first Trump indictment — all the top strategists involved in Mr. DeSantis’s soon-to-be presidential campaign gathered inside a conference room at the AC Marriott in Tallahassee. On one side of the table was the team that would eventually run his campaign, led by Ms. Peck. On the other were the operatives running his allied super PAC, led by Mr. Roe and the super PAC’s chief executive, Chris Jankowski. One person, David Polyansky, attended the meeting as a super PAC official but later became the deputy campaign manager.
Then there were the lawyers, patched in by phone to make sure the conversation did not veer into illegality. Federal law prohibits campaigns and super PACs from privately coordinating strategy but technically, at that moment, there was no formal Ron DeSantis presidential campaign. A goal of the April 6 gathering, which has not previously been reported, was to establish what the DeSantis team called “commander’s intent” — a broad vision of responsibilities in the battle to come.
The two sides even exchanged printed memos about hypothetical divisions of labor in a would-be 2024 primary. The upshot: The campaign would focus on events in the early states, and the super PAC would organize March contests, and invest in an unprecedented $100 million ground operation across the map. The super PAC was also expected by the DeSantis team to raise huge sums from small donations online, and direct them to the campaign. That program would go on to raise less than $1 million.

The close ties between Mr. DeSantis’s campaign and Never Back Down have already prompted a formal complaint from a watchdog group that accuses the relationship of being a “textbook example” of coordination that is illegal under campaign finance laws.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Trump Trashes Republicans

Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. 

Hawley soon endorsed Trump.  Cruz did not.  Hence the following:

(The filing deadline for the Texas primary has passed.)

Poisoning the GOP

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The 2024 race has begun.

Sophia Cai at Axios:
It's not just Trump. Even as the GOP has recruited more minority prospects for public office — this year's initial field for the presidential race was historically diverse — more Republicans are latching onto Trump's racially divisive rhetoric.
  • Vivek Ramaswamy, the son of Indian immigrants, has won fans among white nationalists for promoting the "Great Replacement Theory," a racist conspiracy theory that nonwhite people are being allowed into the U.S. and other Western countries to replace white voters.
  • Ramaswamy, who among the GOP candidates has been particularly reluctant to criticize Trump, also has campaigned with former Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who has said that U.S. culture can't be restored "with somebody else's babies" and called for an America "so homogeneous that we look a lot the same."
  • Last summer, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' team fired a speechwriter who created campaign material with neo-Nazi imagery, then shared it on a pro-DeSantis Twitter account.
More recently, some far-righters, conservative groups and others have begun calling former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley — whose parents were Indian immigrants — "Nimarata," her first name, rather than Nikki, the middle name she has gone by for most of her life.
  • The emphasis on Haley's Indian heritage has escalated as she has risen in GOP polls and cast herself as a less chaotic, more sensitive conservative than Trump.
  • Ramaswamy has called Haley "lying Nimarata Randhawa," referencing her family name before marriage.
  • The Florida Standard — a now-defunct pro-DeSantis blog — has done so as well, as did a recent straw poll at a convention of the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Foreign Influence Efforts Continue

A website founded by a former US Marine who now lives in Russia has fuelled a rumour that Volodymyr Zelensky purchased two luxury yachts with American aid money.

Despite the false claim, the disinformation plot was successful. It took off online and was echoed by members of the US Congress making crucial decisions about military spending.
The story first emerged in late November on an obscure YouTube channel - one with only a handful of followers and just a single video in its feed.

The next day, it was picked up by a site called DC Weekly, alongside pictures of the two yachts - called Lucky Me and My Legacy - and documents purportedly confirming the sale of the boats to Zelensky's associates.

But the luxury yacht brokers where both vessels are listed for sale said that the allegations are false. The sales documents appear to be forgeries. And instead of having been purchased by Zelensky or his close advisers, both Lucky Me and My Legacy are still up for sale.


Research by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren, disinformation researchers at Clemson University, shows that DC Weekly was started by John Mark Dougan, a former US Marine and Florida police officer who moved to Russia in 2016.

Mr Dougan spent three years as a deputy with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office, then after he left in 2009 he started a website spreading rumours about his former employers.

Since moving to Russia he has reinvented himself as a journalist covering the invasion of Ukraine, and has spread a number of false and baseless claims - for example that Russia was attempting to destroy biological weapons labs.

DC Weekly, the Clemson researchers discovered, is full of news stories copied from other sites and rewritten by artificial intelligence engines. The site's "reporters" have fake names along with headshots copied from elsewhere on the internet.

Mixed in with the rewritten stories - apparently designed to give the site a sheen of legitimacy - are dubious original reports.


Dustin Volz at WSJ:
The Russian government and its proxies attempted to denigrate the Democratic Party and undermine voter confidence ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, an operation that most likely sought to weaken U.S. support for Ukraine, U.S. intelligence agencies said.

China also tacitly approved efforts to try to influence a handful of unidentified midterm races, though it refrained from favoring one party, as Beijing exhibited a greater willingness to target the U.S. with election-influence activities than it has previously, according to a newly released intelligence community assessment. Iran also was blamed for trying to undermine confidence in U.S. democracy, while other foreign governments, including Cuba, were said to have experimented with small-scale U.S. influence pushes.

The findings come amid rising concerns from U.S. officials and security experts about foreign adversaries potentially pouring ample resources into interfering in the 2024 presidential election contest eight years after Russia engineered a multipronged interference campaign to help Republican Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton, his Democratic foe in the 2016 election.
“While Russian officials most likely recognized that U.S. support for Ukraine was largely bipartisan, Russian influence actors disproportionately targeted the Democratic Party, probably because Moscow blames the U.S. president for forging a unified Western alliance and for Kyiv’s continued pro-Western trajectory,” the report said. Russia also criticized a small number of Republican politicians that the Kremlin perceived as anti-Russian, it said.


The desire to harm the Democratic Party at times appeared to affect Russia’s prosecution of the war itself. The report says that Russian military officials delayed withdrawal from the Ukrainian city of Kherson until after the midterms to avoid giving Democrats a perceived win before the election. Russia announced its withdrawal a day after the election.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

The Colorado Decision and the GOP Nomination Contest


Our recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie And we now know how close he came to subverting the Constitution.   

Maggie Haberman at NYT:

It may take weeks to find out whether the decision by the Colorado Supreme Court to declare Donald J. Trump ineligible to be on the state primary ballot will hold.

But its short-term political impact was clear by the time Mr. Trump stepped off a stage on Tuesday night in Iowa, where he learned of the ruling shortly before a scheduled campaign rally began.

Allies of the former president posted on social media that the ruling was an outrage, one that the U.S. Supreme Court needed to rectify.

Colorado’s top court found that Mr. Trump had incited an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, and should be barred from the ballot under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Mr. Trump could remain on the ballot regardless — the Colorado justices put their ruling on hold as appeals are likely to proceed — but Mr. Trump’s team was hardly dwelling on that detail.

Even if Mr. Trump remains on the ballot, any court having said that Mr. Trump incited an insurrection will be used against him in a general election, in ways his advisers know could be damaging. But the Republican primary is different. Officials with Mr. Trump’s rival G.O.P. campaigns privately feared that the decision would be seen as an overreach by Democrats, one that could bolster his current lead among Republicans in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 15, and in the primaries immediately after.

For years, events that would thwart other politicians have at best slowed Mr. Trump’s forward motion, with the prominent exception of his loss in the 2020 election to Joseph R. Biden Jr. Throughout 2023, Mr. Trump has exploited as political fodder events that would have sunk other candidates — such as being indicted four times, on 91 felony charges — with a Republican electorate that has been told Democrats are threatening their way of life.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Gaza Politics, December

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The 2024 race has begun.  The Gaza war is politically dangerous for Biden.

Jonathan Weisman, Ruth Igielnik and Alyce McFadden at NYT:

Voters broadly disapprove of the way President Biden is handling the bloody strife between Israelis and Palestinians, a New York Times/Siena College poll has found, with younger Americans far more critical than older voters of both Israel’s conduct and of the administration’s response to the war in Gaza.
Economic concerns remain paramount, with 34 percent of registered voters listing economic- or inflation-related concerns as the top issue facing the country. That’s down from 45 percent in October 2022, but still high.

Voters between 18 and 29 years old, traditionally a heavily Democratic demographic, jump out. Nearly three quarters of them disapprove of the way Mr. Biden is handling the conflict in Gaza. And among registered voters, they say they would vote for Mr. Trump by 49 percent to 43 percent — in July, those young voters backed Mr. Biden by 10 percentage points.

Do you approve of President Biden’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Don’t Know/Refused

Who do you trust to do a better job on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Don’t Know/Refused

Source: New York Times/Siena College poll of 1,016 registered voters nationwide from Dec. 10-14.


By Lazaro Gamio

Sunday, December 17, 2023

DeSantis Sinking

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The 2024 race has begun.  The DeSantis campaign has been troubled

DeSantis is struggling in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Michael Scherer, Hannah Knowles and Josh Dawsey at WP:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis entered the Republican presidential race with an unmatched war chest and a $269 million plan to change how campaigns are usually funded.

His first campaign manager, Generra Peck, developed the strategy and selected the leadership to lead a massive new super PAC called Never Back Down. Lawyer-supervised meetings between the campaign-in-waiting and the super PAC’s team fine-tuned the mission — setting the stage for a historic paid door-knocking effort in early states.

Under campaign finance rules, the two operations could not privately coordinate most of their spending. But they aimed to function as an integrated whole — built with the candidate’s approval, advised by a single law firm, overseen by a board that included DeSantis confidants and seeded with $82.5 million that DeSantis had raised for his gubernatorial reelection. It was the first time a major campaign ceded so much of its operations to an entity it could not legally control.

With just weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, the experiment is now in tatters. The super PAC that funded almost all of the DeSantis advertising and field programs and much of the candidate’s travel and events has been sidelined by the people that created it.

On Saturday night, about four hours after this story first published online, Jeff Roe — a key architect of Never Back Down’s strategy — joined a string of departures, announcing he was resigning and further deepening the group’s tumult. He said he “cannot in good conscience stay affiliated with Never Back Down" after the super PAC sent statements to The Washington Post suggesting the group fired officials connected to Roe’s firm over “mismanagement and conduct issues.”

Five other senior officials have left Never Back Down since late November. Three officials with Roe’s firm were fired, and the board chairman and the founding chief executive both resigned, amid internal concerns about legal compliance. A verbal conflict from inside the group’s Atlanta offices became public, as did DeSantis’s own misgivings about the outside group’s leadership. The governor and his campaign staff have been frustrated by reporting on the drama around Never Back Down and critical of the group’s ad strategy, with DeSantis’s second campaign manager, James Uthmeier, publicly instructing donors to give elsewhere for TV ads.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Challengers Faces Challenges

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The 2024 race has begun.  The logistics of running a presidential campaign -- especially ballot access -- can be daunting for third-party candidates and longshot primary challengers.

David Drucker at The Dispatch:

Earlier this year, No Labels made waves when it signaled it would seek to nominate an independent presidential candidate in 2024 who could face off against President Joe Biden and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. But the nonpartisan organization has pumped the brakes on elements of its effort in recent months, with top officials reassessing their strategy for selecting and nominating candidates.

Sources blame the hiccups on fresh resistance from inside No Labels to previously agreed upon steps the group was to take toward potential candidate nominations—plus disorganization and unforeseen logistical challenges. “Deadlines have slipped, discussions have continued,” an individual close to the group told The Dispatch, requesting anonymity to speak candidly. “Nobody’s done this—these are talented people but they’ve never done anything like this. I haven’t either.”

Two weeks ago, No Labels canceled its in-person nominating convention scheduled for mid-April in Dallas, opting instead for a virtual gathering.

Filip Timotija and Hanna Trudo at The Hill:

Outsider presidential candidates are vying to appear on as many ballots as possible before November, hoping to qualify in enough general election swing states to complicate the path for President Biden and former President Trump.

The battle for the ballots is underway as the race among incumbent-challenging Democrats, independents and third-party candidates has frustrated those who’d prefer to focus on Biden’s low popularity and Trump’s ascent.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent, and Democrats Rep. Dean Phillips (Minn.), Marianne Williamson and Cenk Uygur are strategizing over how to legally get their names in front of voters in key states before the fall.

One Democratic strategist who worked on a presidential campaign in 2020 recalls the monumental task of getting their candidate to appear in enough places to be viable.

“It was difficult getting on the ballots of certain states,” a strategist and former campaign adviser wrote to The Hill. “We spent a lot of money canvassing states for signatures. Like A LOT.”
“Getting on the ballots requires either a huge staff on the ground that can go knocking door to door or paying a canvassing firm a ton of money to get the signatures,” said the strategist, recalling efforts to prop up a candidate from the Democratic primary in 2020 who ultimately didn’t garner much traction. “Not to mention the fees for appearing on the ballot themselves.”

In Florida, the Democratic Party’s executive committee placed Biden as the only Democrat running in the 2024 primary, bypassing Phillips, Williamson and Uygur.

Following the decision of the executive committee, all three Democratic candidates publicly blasted the Florida Democrats. Michael Steinberg, a former congressional candidate and Tampa Bay attorney, filed a federal lawsuit against the state party arguing that Phillips in particular should be on the ballot.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Nixon Redux

Ian Ward at Politico:
“He is by and away the most underappreciated president of our modern history in this country — probably in all of American history,” said Ramaswamy, without a hint of irony.

Ramaswamy’s homage to America’s most disgraced ex-president perplexed some liberal commentators, for whom Nixon remains the ultimate symbol of conservative criminality. But Ramaswamy is far from alone in rethinking Nixon’s divisive legacy. Among a small but influential group of young conservative activists and intellectuals, “Tricky Dick” is making a quiet — but notable — comeback. Long condemned by both Democrats and Republicans as the “crook” that he infamously swore not to be, Nixon is reemerging in some conservative circles as a paragon of populist power, a noble warrior who was unjustly consigned to the black list of American history.

Across the right-of-center media sphere, examples of Nixonmania abound. Online, popular conservative activists are studying the history of Nixon’s presidency as a “blueprint for counter-revolution” in the 21st century. In the pages of small conservative magazines, readers can meet the “New Nixonians” who are studying up on Nixon’s foreign policy prowess. On TikTok, users can scroll through meme-ified homages to Nixon. And in the weirdest (and most irony laden) corners of the internet, Nixon stans are even swooning over the former president’s swarthy good looks.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Impeachment Inquiry

Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good.   Riley Rogerson at The Daily Beast:

House Republicans are going all-in on President Joe Biden’s impeachment, with a nearly unanimous House GOP gambling Wednesday that voters will reward and not punish their impeachment inquiry into the president despite a yearslong investigation that has, thus far, not delivered any real evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors.

By a straight party-line vote of 221-212, Republicans formalized the effort to unearth—so far unsubstantiated—impeachable links between Biden and the shady business dealings of his son, Hunter.

The vote marks a shift for centrist Republicans who reportedly squirmed earlier this year at having to go on the record with the Biden impeachment inquiry vote under former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The since-deposed speaker weaseled his way around that dilemma by initiating an impeachment inquiry without subjecting his vulnerable colleagues to an uncomfortable floor vote.

But under new Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), the House charged ahead with a floor vote shepherded by the chairmen of the Oversight Committee, the Judiciary panel, and Ways and Means—James Comer (R-KY), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Jason Smith (R-MO), respectively.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

NY Redistricting

Our book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections

Nicholas Fandos at NYT:

New York’s highest court ordered the state to redraw its congressional map on Tuesday, delivering a ruling that offers Democrats a new weapon to wrest control of the House from Republicans in 2024.

The decision could have far-reaching implications in reshaping the House battlefield in a key state. New York Democrats are widely expected to use the opening to try to shift two to six Republican-held swing districts that President Biden won, from Long Island to Syracuse.

The State Constitution still prohibits partisan gerrymandering. But Democrats would need to make only slight alterations to the district lines to improve the party’s chances and imperil Republicans’ three-seat majority before the campaign season even begins.

“They might have won two or three of those Biden districts back anyway — now it might be five or six,” said Dave Wasserman, an elections analyst with the Cook Political Report. “When you are talking about such a narrow majority in the House, obviously that’s a big deal.”


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Good Economic News

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the politics of economic policy.

Rachel Siegel at WP:

Inflation came down in 2023 much faster than anyone expected, sealing expectations that the Federal Reserve won’t raise interest rates this week and shrinking the chances that the economy is headed for a recession.

A year after prices soared to four-decade highs, inflation for all sorts of goods and services has fallen considerably. The shift still leaves actual prices for eggs, bread, rent and other basics higher than just a few years ago. But costs aren’t rising at such a dizzying, rapid clip — bringing stability and predictability to household budgets and the economy at large.

Fresh data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday showed prices rose 3.1 percent in November over the year before, and about 0.1 percent compared to October. That’s still higher than normal, but a vast improvement since the consumer price index peaked at 9.1 percent in June 2022.