Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Yes, the January 6 hearings matterJuly 18, 2022
Focus groups: Wisconsin swing voters say Trump guilty for Jan. 6
Driving the news: 10 of 14 Wisconsin swing voters last week said Trump should be prosecuted for trying to overturn the 2020 election and his role in the attack on the Capitol; 10 of 13 Arizona swing voters in panels last month said the same.
- The focus groups track with national polling showing more than half of Americans believe Trump should face criminal charges.
Texas House report on Uvalde shooting blames all agencies at the scene
Rather than isolate blame on local officers, as some had since the shooting, the report casts a broader net of responsibility over “the entirety of law enforcement … on that tragic day.”
“Hundreds of responders from numerous law enforcement agencies — many of whom were better trained and better equipped than the school district police — quickly arrived on the scene,” the report says. “Those other responders, who also had training on active shooter response and the interrelation of law enforcement agencies, could have helped to address the unfolding chaos. Yet in this crisis, no responder seized the initiative.”
“From the beginning, state troopers peddled false information to the media and officials at the scene.”
Peter S Goodman/NY Times:
The World Economy Is Imperiled by a Force Hiding in Plain Sight
Well more than two years into the worst pandemic in a century, the accompanying economic shock continues to assault global fortunes.
This past week brought home the magnitude of the overlapping crises assailing the global economy, intensifying fears of recession, job losses, hunger and a plunge on stock markets.
At the root of this torment is a force so elemental that it has almost ceased to warrant mention — the pandemic. That force is far from spent, confronting policymakers with grave uncertainty. Their policy tools are better suited for more typical downturns, not a rare combination of diminishing economic growth and soaring prices.
John Cassidy/New Yorker:
Joe Manchin Plays the Role of Wrecker, AgainThe senator from West Virginia delivered a crippling blow to what was left of Joe Biden’s climate-change agenda.Passing the two health-care-reform bills is the right thing to do. But Biden’s broader Build Back Better plan—which amounted to an ambitious effort to expand the social safety net and tackle glaring market failures, particularly regarding climate change—now seems as dead as Monty Python’s parrot.
Next, a pair of posts from (there’ll always be an) England.
Steven Fielding/The Spectator:
Which Tory leader does Labour fear the most?
Ideally, Labour would like Boris Johnson to remain caretaker Prime Minister for as long as possible – recent weeks have seen Labour’s polling rise and rise with the messy demise of the Prime Minister. When Keir Starmer said his party had an electoral mountain to climb after the 2019 election, he likely did not figure on Boris Johnson acting as his personal Sherpa Tenzing.
But once Boris is out, Labour would settle for a successor they can closely associate with his poisonous personal and policy legacy. That being the case, Sunak is their man. Not only was he Chancellor until just last week, he was also fined for breaking the Covid rules. Fairly or not, his wife’s non-dom tax status fatally reinforced the impression that, like the Prime Minister, Sunak was an elitist who avoided the rules ordinary Britons were forced to follow. It is no accident that this week Rachel Reeves has been highlighting Labour’s proposed abolition of the non-dom tax loophole.
Whatever the relative merits of the three main candidates, Labour must be grateful for how the contest has gone so far
Labour would, however, likely see Liz Truss as a good alternative to Sunak. While she has seemingly no vulnerable personal issues Truss did stay loyal to Johnson until the bitter end and is backed by Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nadine Dorries, leading members of Johnson’s paramilitary wing.
The third leading candidate is Penny Mourdant, who helped negotiate Brexit and is supported by back benchers who have few ties to Boris Johnson. And she just might win.
Ditching Boris was a terrible mistake
Yes, Rishi Sunak might be able to speak with relative eloquence on the subject of inflation, but isn’t that the very least we should expect of him, given his role in causing it? If he knew Johnson was wrecking the country, as he implies now – ‘enough was enough’, he said last night of his decision to resign – then why did he stand for it for so long?
It was impossible to watch last night’s debate without being struck by how unbelievably dreary it seemed. These people want us to believe they are inspirational leaders, but they were so uniformly platitudinous and stilted. In what parallel universe is Tom Tugendhat, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt or Rishi Sunak anyone’s idea of an adequate substitute for a man of Boris Johnson’s talent and flair? The debate highlighted this truth unignorably.
And herein lies the dilemma/lesson for Republicans. Trump is a proven vote getter (as well as being an alleged seditionist). The rest of the Trumpist non-Trumps really are a dreary bunch themselves. Hence, the GOP is afraid to let Trump (and Trump voters) go.
Jonathan V Last/Bulwark:
Why the Libertarian Party Bowed to MAGA Just Like the Republican Party
Paleolibertarians turn out to be pretty much the same as paleoconservatives.
When [Andy] Craig https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/7/18/2110931/-Abbreviated-Pundit-Roundup-Yes-the-January-6-hearings-matter?pm_campaign=blog&pm_medium=rss&pm_source=main recounts how the takeover happened, it sounds awfully familiar:
Why would a party that found its greatest success in offering a sensible classical liberal alternative to Trump’s GOP end up being taken over by Trumpists and worse?
There are two reasons:
The first is the party’s unique structure, an oversimplified emulation of how the Republicans and Democrats operated over 200 years ago, which made it highly susceptible to hostile takeovers, as I explained here. For example, the party’s national delegates are selected at state conventions that are attended by a small number of highly motivated members willing to spend money out of pocket to show up for a weekend at a local Marriott. They generally don’t represent the views of the vast majority of members or libertarian donors, let alone libertarian voters. But just because they show up, their votes on key LP matters carry the day. This means that it was not at all hard for a group like the Mises Caucus to gin up resources to flood state conventions with its members and select national delegates who could then vote in LP officeholders sympathetic to its views.
Yet, it would be a mistake to suggest that the party could have done nothing to defend itself.
Senate GOP fundraising flop
Top Senate Republican candidates turned in poor fundraising numbers in key races from Arizona to New Hampshire.
Why it matters: It’s as if big GOP donors either don’t realize a Senate majority is in reach or wrongly think it’s a sure thing. And it’s clear they don’t like a lot of the Trumpy candidates.
Context: Democratic Senate candidates are posting blockbuster hauls.
- Republicans could be surfing a tidal wave of discontent about the country (75% wrong track in Real Clear Politics average) and President Biden (39% approval).
What’s happening: In Arizona, the leading Republican candidate, Blake Masters, raised just $827,000 in the quarter ($1.58 million cash on hand) to $13.6 million ($24.9 million cash on hand) for Sen. Mark Kelly, the Democratic incumbent.