Reading the comments on New Hampshire... these people DO realize it is the Governor who makes the decisions which impact the energy policy in the state, not the State Representatives at the Federal level? Hmmmm, could some of that "shovel ready money" have come from an Infrastructure Bill which, by the way, the current Senators and Congress Members DID vote for? Someone might want to dig around and find out what some of the money being used SHOULD have been spent on when it was first allotted.

"A Top State for Public Education" is also a curious phrase that Sununu uses. Did he say that at the Unity Tour he held with Bolduc? The very high real estate taxes being paid towards education can now be siphoned off to private/religious/charter school vouchers. That public education phrase is not going to age well. You could probably pave a road from Concord, NH, to Washington, DC, with Bolduc signs, though... THAT is scary - you just can't escape them.

Expand full comment

The NH example is playing out in Georgia too. Brian Kemp is running all over our state simultaneously telling us how amazing the Georgia economy is while also telling us how it is a horrific hellscape because of Joe Biden's economic policies.

I don't know what to expect will happen but God help us all if monsters like Herschel Walker are elected to office.

Expand full comment

I don't know what will happen next Tuesday. Maybe it will be a red wave or maybe the Dems will hang on to the House and/or make gains in the Senate. Either way I won't be surprised. Many of the races are within the polling margins of error. And I find it hard to believe that the Dobbs decision isn't going to have a significant effect, although it may not be enough to overcome the usual midterm headwinds.

But I am concerned over the recent narrative that the election is swinging to the Republicans. It will just buttress Republican claims of stolen elections if things don't turn out their way. I expect it get real ugly.

Expand full comment

JLV is the most surly of the Bulwark writers but he’s so smart and he knows just the right buttons to push!!

Expand full comment

A Tale of Two New Hampshires:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way ...."


Expand full comment

Re JDV (YSWIDT?), I read and was impressed with Hillbilly Elegy, at the time. To better understand who he has become, read Joe Bageant's Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War. https://a.co/d/gzIduVI

Expand full comment

JVL, Please consider putting the footnotes directly under the paragraph they refer to. I hate having to go back and search through the post to find them. Thank you.

Expand full comment

Re: Performative Governance

It seems to me that two can play at that game and I wonder why we can't find that second person?

When is someone going to out-MAGA the MAGA?

"By some reports, over 437,000 illegal votes were cast in Florida in the last election! 437,000! And what did Ron DeSantis do? He cobbled together a collection of completely incompetent Deep Staters to find those ballot box stuffers, prosecute them and make them pay. All talk! He found 20! And how many of them have paid a price? None! It's time Floridians figured out that Ron DeSantis is as worthless as all the other squish RINOs who talk a good game but do nothing. He's had plenty of time to hunt down the people who cast all those illegal votes, but he didn't. Why? Because he's incompetent ... or worse! The evidence is overwhelming, so what could be the reason? Maybe he put his commission together and staffed it with swamp creatures because he DIDN'T WANT THEM TO FIND ANYONE! Maybe he's one of them! It's time Floridians elected someone who actually cares about election integrity and will do something about it!"

I mean, once you've figured out that you can say anything and the MAGA's will believe it, why not use that superpower?

Expand full comment

A once entertaining, broke hillbilly broke big and then bad. Standing with Trump I would have loved to know his reaction to Trumps public claim the hillbilly will do whatever Trump tells him to do. His moral foundation capable of sinking the Titanic drowns what’s ever left of his self respect.

Expand full comment

RE: Another Perspective

It's pretty disappointing that someone with Josh Barro's credentials is apparently completely lacking in common sense.

How on earth can he claim that the Dems' message that democracy is on the line, so people should vote dem, "makes no sense on it's face."

The MAJORITY of Republican candidates in the midterm have openly said that they will not accept an election result in which they lose, and moreover that they'll use any powers granted to them over the electoral system to reverse any election where a Dem won over a Republican, regardless of the integrity of the election or the margin of victory for the Dems.

Policy decisions are important in elections, but if one of the two major parties in the country has openly said that they'll refuse to accept even the policy choices of Dems who vote in the election, it's THAT stance that will result in Americans losing their democracy. After all, what's the point in having an election where voters express their solidarity with candidates based on their policy positions if one of the two parties is openly telling Americans that they'll only accept votes for Republicans?

I know that Barro is a [*edit, former] Republican, so I guess I'll have to spell this out for him in an analogy his limited intellect can understand.

Let's say you're on the Titanic, and the ship is sinking. Two ships are coming to your assistance but due to logistical issues, you can only pick one of the two ships to come and rescue you.

And let's imagine again that the Titanic has a very democratic Captain, who puts the two choices to a vote among the crew and passengers. And here are the options:

1) Boat #1 has really good food and comfortable lodging, and the Captain of that ship is highly regarded as one of the best captains in the word. In fact it's a luxury cruise ship. However, the ship is just too small to be able to link up to the Titanic and offer assistance, let alone take on even 5% of the passengers, so even if by some miracle even the 5% could be saved, the remaining 95% will certainly suffer an icy death.

2) On the other hand, boat #2 is HUGE, and can easily accomodate and feed all of the passegers, but it's a cargo ship so obviously the food is going to be mediocre and they don't have sufficeint lodging to allow all of the passengers and crew to get a room. But there's plenty of space on the boat so everyone will definitely survive until they can get to port.

Now I know that [*edit, former] Republicans are a little dense, but clearly only an absolute moron (or a wealthy elite who can pay off the cruise ship captain) would vote for option #1 over the second option.

Clearly the most important thing in the situation is to avoid drowning in icy waters. Once you're on the LARGE ship and are safe from drowning, that would be the point at which you can start advocating for better food and more comfortable lodging.

It's the same with the midterms. Only a complete moron would vote for Republicans based on their policy PROMISES (which Republicans always disregard, other than tax cuts) when their stated primary goal is to ensure that they stay in power, voter will be damned. Only a naive idiot would think that Republicans would follow through on election promises that hurt their wealthy donor base once Republicans have created a fascist state.

It's pretty embarassing frankly that anyone pays attention to Barro if THIS is the level of his intellectual discourse.

Expand full comment

Vance and other GOP creeps don't hate themselves. They hate the great unwashed. They also know they need the votes of said unwashed to win power, fame, and money. so they slap on bro beards and Just Plain Folks clothes--DeSantis in white rubber boots still cracks me up--and pander accordingly.

And, unfortunately, win.

If clean shaves, Savile Row suits, and speaking with perfect diction won elections, they'd all look and act like British bankers. That they don't is because they know their audience--knuckleheads who believe Ted Cruz is on their side because he grew a Fidel beard and wears flannel shirts--and in they jump, embracing the Bible, Trump, and Margie Three Names.

America deserves better, but to get better, voters have to do better. Guys like J.D. Vance are only responding to the marketplace.

Expand full comment

Performative Governanace a la DeSantis-

Here’s the thing, the voter arrests will continue to be dismissed for all the known reasons- the registrations were approved by the state of Florida, jurisdiction issues, the voting was not intentionally fraudulent- but here’s the thing…the truth doesn’t matter.

The DeSantis lies have been internalized by the saps (oops, good people) in Florida. They will see the dismissals as a sign of corruption among judges or some other cockamamie nonsense.

At the end of the day, Florida’s MAGA voters will continue to believe the DeSantis voter fraud lies.

Expand full comment

I live in mid upstate NH and our energy costs have nothing to do with the democrats and have everything to do with our electrical company having gotten permission from the State Public service Commission to only have an interest in its investors. Eversource no longer has any interest in generating electricity, it only cares about distributing it at a substantial profit. Currently, my monthly bill is about split between costs and distribution. My outbuilding has to be a commercial account according to the state and that allows all sorts of excess charges to be leveled on me. If I use 5000 watts of power, continuously for 30 minutes, I get nailed with a $9.79 penalty by Eversource, every time I do it. So, when my shop was running on full, it got bills as high as $700 dollars a month for an artist's shop. It is not affordable.

I can at least negotiate for my propane costs and I'm far luckier than many who use fuel oil which is now almost five dollars a gallon. I heat my home with firewood which I cut myself. I credit the international supply chain and reaction to covid as sources for our inflation, not the Biden administration. Look at England. Look all over the EU. Look at the war.

Try to find me a single policy proposal that is being made by the current GOP. There aren't any besides a new way of pronouncing "Bengazi.". They have no platform at all.

Expand full comment

My ex from Vermont, which is a wonderful place, always called it Cowhampshire. For what it's worth.

Expand full comment