September 27, 2018

Midterms in Light of Kavanaugh

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, will testify at a high-stakes Senate hearing on Thursday. Many predict that the hearing and the outcome of the nomination will impact the upcoming midterm elections. Reuters

See past issues

From the Left

The left predicts a backlash against Republicans among women resulting from the Kavanaugh debacle.

“Kavanaugh’s nomination threatens to exacerbate the already-yawning gender gap in this fall’s midterm elections."

Politico

“Republicans have feared that if they don’t confirm Kavanaugh, they will depress turnout among their base supporters. But elevating him to the Supreme Court amid these allegations risks compounding their problems with the female voters already most hostile to Trump...

The fierce recoil from Trump among college-educated white women is the single greatest source of Republican vulnerability in House races this year; if the party’s defenses among blue-collar white women also crack, a difficult election night could turn disastrous.”

The Atlantic

“For some US conservatives – especially anti-abortion Christian conservatives – that seat on the highest court is so valuable, they are ready to risk Republican control of the senate to win it... So, yes, televised hearings like tomorrow’s are a nightmare for Republican electoral strategists looking to November. But the wider American right is keeping its eye on a bigger prize."

The Guardian

Minority view: “Democratic enthusiasm is a given at this point... Republicans are banking on their older, whiter, conservative base to show up as they usually do — and those voters want their Supreme Court justices."

Vox

Trump's “goal, it seems, is to put so much pressure on Tehran that it has no choice but to completely change its behavior — but he could end up leading the countries to the brink of war in the process… Now is typically the time when cooler heads prevail, but it’s unclear if there are cooler heads around… It’s hard to overstate how avoidable this situation was.”
Alex Ward, Vox

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right predicts that the Kavanaugh fight will energize GOP voters, but only if GOP leaders do not back down.

From the Right

The right predicts that the Kavanaugh fight will energize GOP voters, but only if GOP leaders do not back down.

“Democrats seem to underestimate just how significant an impact Kavanaugh could have on midterms — for Republican turnout... [Republicans] see a decent man, who was investigated six times by the FBI already for other appointments, being tarred and feathered over uncorroborated accusations from decades ago...

It could also drive independents who think that weaponizing #MeToo for political gain is craven, who believe due process is important, who believe there shouldn’t be different standards based on party affiliation.”

Chicago Sun Times

Democrats have put all their eggs inside Ford’s basket. If her story falters, it will reflect on them and their awful handling of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. This is something voters will not forget by November, and that ‘blue wave’ many are expecting could evaporate because of it."

The Federalist

But Republican voters “are prepared to release most of their rage over any Kavanaugh defeat on the Republican Party. One of their abiding complaints is that GOP politicians too easily succumb to liberal tactics... Among the reasons base Republicans lag Democrats in enthusiasm for this election is bitterness that the GOP failed in core promises to repeal ObamaCare and to restrain spending. A blown Supreme Court nominee would make matters far worse."

Wall Street Journal

“The broader context here is North Korea's crop crisis. If Kim hasn't got sanctions relief by August's end, a painful winter is coming… Absent Kim's commitment to suspend all ballistic missile tests, the U.S. should not support the provision of food supplies to the North Korean people. A North Korean long-range nuclear strike capability poses an existential threat to American society… Trump must not allow North Korea's coming suffering to dictate his decisions. Supporting North Korea with food will both prolong North Koreans' suffering under Kim and directly undercut U.S. interests.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

“The Democrats want to talk to Don McGahn, and maybe they will ultimately prevail in court to get his testimony, but what’s the point? McGahn talked extensively to Mueller, and surely everything remotely damaging is already in the report

“Congress has the report, and now it is up to it to decide. But it doesn’t want to. It’s too painful to admit that the Mueller report was a bust on Russia and that the obstruction material, while damaging to Trump, is hardly a slam dunk; that the public doesn’t support impeachment; that if the House goes through with it anyway, it will end with a whimper in the Senate; and that it’s better for Democrats to focus on beating Trump in 2020 than a forlorn impeachment.”
Rich Lowry, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

'Mate, what just happened?' Seal slaps kayaker in face with octopus.

The Guardian

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