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

Critics of the candidate argue, “Want to defeat Trump? Attack Biden… Many progressives are understandably fearful that attacking the presumptive frontrunner might weaken him and give Trump ammunition for the general election. But challenging Biden’s record is important. For example, his core base of support – older Democrats – needs to know what an unreliable defender of Social Security and Medicare he is. By challenging him on his record, especially in the eyes of older, traditional Democratic voters, progressives could break the myth of Biden’s ‘electability’. (A strange trope given that Biden has tried and failed to be a presidential nominee since the 1980s.)… Anyone angling to be the Democratic nominee should espouse a real progressive agenda – just being ‘anti-Trump’ isn’t enough.”
Bhaskar Sunkara, The Guardian

“For Warren or anyone else to prevent the uniquely depressing experience of a Biden ‘national unity’ campaign, specifically targeted at a tiny cadre of wobbly Trump voters and Jeff Flake-style dissident Republicans, something has to change before next winter. Democratic voters and the media and basically everyone else must get over their skittish, fearful response to the Trump presidency, and their based-on-nothing certainty that nominating a progressive or a woman or a socialist or anybody who isn’t an avuncular white man with a vaguely reassuring demeanor and no discernible ideology will once again lead to disaster.”
Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

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

“If Joe Biden can win his way through the primaries, he’s almost lab-engineered to beat Trump. He doesn’t cause Republican panic, he has the potential to connect with white working-class voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t in 2016, and he has a potential to connect better with black voters than Hillary did… if Biden emerges from [this] crucible, Trump will face a very different challenge than he faced in 2016.”
David French, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The relevant question is not the nationality of a source offering ‘oppo research’ but the accuracy and relevance of the information. Another consideration is whether the information was obtained illegally—by hacking emails, for example. While the Supreme Court has said people have a First Amendment right to share illegally obtained information if they were not involved in the lawbreaking (something that news organizations frequently do), you might reasonably argue that they should also report such crimes when they become aware of them, which may be what Trump had in mind when he said he might contact the FBI ‘if I thought there was something wrong.’”
Jacob Sullum, Reason

On the bright side...

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

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