April 5, 2019

Wisconsin and Chicago Elections

“[Conservative] Brian Hagedorn declared victory Wednesday over fellow Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer in a close race for Wisconsin Supreme Court even as both sides were preparing for a potential recount… Hagedorn led Neubauer 50.25% to 49.75% with nearly all of Tuesday's votes unofficially counted.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot easily won the Chicago mayor’s race Tuesday, earning support from every part of the city to defeat a longtime political insider and become the first black woman and openly gay person to lead the nation’s third-largest city.” AP News

See past issues

From the Left

The left is lamenting the loss in Wisconsin and celebrating the progressive wins in Chicago.

“Wisconsin voters on Tuesday delivered a stinging defeat to Democrats hoping to hold a seat on the state Supreme Court — and a hint that a sleeping Republican base is beginning to wake up just in time for the 2020 presidential election… The results underscore what should be obvious by now: Wisconsin is a closely divided state at the tipping point of either party’s path to 270 electoral votes.”
Reid Wilson, The Hill

“In a rare stroke of luck, Wisconsin conservatives managed to rally behind a reactionary judge so extreme, two of the GOP’s most reliable donors — the state’s Chamber of Commerce and Realtors Association — could not bring themselves to support him… While we were all debating a presidential primary that’s still ten months away, many progressives slept through an immensely consequential — and, by most accounts, easily winnable — election against a reactionary bigot in Wisconsin (again).”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“In a result eerily reminiscent of the 2016 presidential election in the state, liberals’ heavy focus on social and culture war issues they believed would be disqualifying over pocketbook issues appeared to backfire, as a surge in the vote from more culturally conservative areas around greater Green Bay, exurban Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s Northwoods more than made up for big turnout in Madison, while Milwaukee’s turnout once again lagged behind the state.”
Cameron Joseph, Talking Points Memo

Meanwhile in Chicago, an open letter to the incoming mayor: “You were the candidate of Chicagoans who can’t find a good school for their kids. Who wonder why they’re paying more in property taxes while wealthy developers get tax breaks. Who can’t find a mental health clinic in a family emergency. Who don’t dare let their children play outside…

“Like no mayor before you, you are in a position to demand that big developers do more for the neighborhoods, that the wealthiest residents and corporations pay a fairer portion of taxes, that neighborhood schools come before charter schools, and that affordable housing be extended to every ward… You made history, Lori Lightfoot. Now make more.”
Editorial Board, Chicago Sun-Times

Many note that “the United States is experiencing a socialist surge right now. That surge came to Chicago [Tuesday] night, where democratic socialists won big… You’ve got at least five, maybe six democratic socialists who will be on the 50-member Chicago city council… Throughout the country, people are tired of low wages, soaring housing costs, privatization of public goods, budget cuts and corporate giveaways of public money. They have tried austerity and found it miserable. If Chicago’s elections are any indication, maybe they’re ready to try socialism.
Micah Uetricht, The Guardian

Regarding the Cadillac tax, “high-premium employer-based plans raise the cost of health care for everyone by encouraging the overconsumption of expensive services. This means that even Medicare and Medicaid face higher prices. Quite aside from its benefits for the health-care market, the Cadillac tax would also have the effect of expanding the tax base and making the tax code more efficient. It would raise revenues by about $15 billion a year… Rather than killing or delaying the Cadillac tax, Democrats should be trying to make it operational. The tax would raise revenue, lower costs, increase the efficiency of the tax code and give the Obamacare individual market its best chance at success.”
Karl W. Smith, Bloomberg

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right is excited about the victory in Wisconsin and cautiously optimistic about Lightfoot.

From the Right

The right is excited about the victory in Wisconsin and cautiously optimistic about Lightfoot.

“Republicans received an unexpected piece of good news on Tuesday night… Trump knows that he needs to win only the electoral college to get reelected, and that encourages him to double down on issues that motivates Republicans and blue-collar former Democrats. That coalition makes up about half the vote in Wisconsin, without Trump on the ballot and without a nationally known progressive as his opponent. Tuesday’s result should warm Republican hearts with the hope that maybe the president, despite everything, is becoming a slight favorite for reelection.”
Henry Olsen, Washington Post

“Republicans have reinforced their court majority with Mr. Hagedorn, a mainstream conservative jurist who served as counsel to Mr. Walker. The left vilified him for giving speeches to the ‘hate group’ Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Colorado’s cake-baker in a winning appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court… The left’s smear campaign prompted some business groups to pull back advertising but may have also energized Republicans… Republicans were able to beat back [a] liberal surge by winning the suburbs where liberals in recent elections had been gaining. Perhaps the emerging radicalism on the left is causing voters to think twice about returning them to power.”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

“Liberals overplayed their hand attacking religious and social conservatives. Neubauer and her liberal allies vilified Hagedorn as an anti-LGBT bigot because he had founded a Christian school that upholds Christian beliefs regarding sex and marriage, and because he had echoed comments from Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Lawrence v. Texas.”
John McCormack, National Review

The attacks on Hagedorn’s faith crossed a red line. At issue was a single, vital question: ‘Can a Bible-believing Christian still hold office in the state of Wisconsin?’... Even casual believers and secular Americans can recognize there is a world of difference between the kind of hate groups that the SPLC was originally formed to combat and organizations that simply uphold traditional Christian morality and defend religious freedom.”
David French, National Review

Regarding Lightfoot’s victory in Chicago, “at the forefront of the mayoral runoff was the Jussie Smollett case. While no one expressed as much rage toward the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and the alleged hate crime hoaxer as Emanuel, Lightfoot expressed real criticism of Kim Foxx's move to drop the charges… The election may not be a referendum on the Smollett case specifically, but it's at least one of the Chicago machine as a whole. For all that progressives in the city like to brand themselves as, choosing Lightfoot over a union-backed career crony is actual change and progress.”
Tiana Lowe, Washington Examiner

“Trump should be overjoyed. Tariffs are taxes paid by Americans on the things Americans buy. The only way China can be paying any of them is if something else, something extra, then happens — like the yuan dropping. This makes all imports into China more expensive for Chinese citizens. That's China paying for Trump's tariffs when the yuan falls. Without this happening, only Americans pay. With the yuan dropping, China pays as well. This is the claim Trump has been making all along, that China's really paying those trade taxes — now they are… Imposing significant export tariffs on a country should mean the value of that currency falls. This is what is happening. Why is Trump complaining about it?
Tim Worstall, Washington Examiner

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

Outside Hong Kong, the silence Is deafening… Some protesters in Hong Kong today are adopting the British Union Jack flag, the American flag and the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ as symbols, yet that doesn’t seem to have stirred our collective imaginations… Americans are preoccupied with fighting each other over political correctness, gun violence, Trump and the Democratic candidates for president. To be sure, those issues deserve plenty of attention. But they are soaking up far too much emotional energy, distracting attention from the all-important struggles for liberty around the world…

“It’s 2019, and the land of the American Revolution, a country whose presidents gave stirring speeches about liberty and freedom in Berlin during the Cold War, remains in a complacent slumber. It really is time to Make America Great Again — if only we could remember what that means.”
Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg

On the bright side...

This thorough evaluation of some Gummi Bears truly deserves a Nobel prize.
Guacamoley

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