236 Comments

Warnock won 51.4% to Walker's 48.6%. Not at all the resounding rebuke of Walker that we were hoping for, but a win nonetheless. Reduces the chances of Bill K's chain of events, already, here at step 1. Sadly.

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De Santis could choose not to run in 2024. What's in it for him? He may judge, correctly, that the GOP needs a more thorough detox from Trump before it's ready for him. He's young, he can serve his second full term as Florida's governor then linger on the fundraising circuit while waiting. If he goes in 2024, he will just get a bucket of bile dumped over his head. From his point of view, let Trump and Biden slug it out in 2024; if Trump wins, he can serve only one term anyway. If Trump loses, this prepares the ground for people wanting change from the Democrats in 2028.

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Re Kristol: Biden stepping back and down? Hmmmm. I'm 81 and need naps but I think well and Republicans, even never-trumpers, revere always napping Reagan, so why can't Biden snatch a nap here and there and continue giving us one of the most experienced political figures around? We lost Clinton and she even knew where Ukraine was (stilll is, thanks to Biden), so we caught a break with Biden. Let's see how he feels about it in two years and in the meantime enjoy the continuing prosperity (I live in the Phoenix metro area where that new chip plant is going in. I might apply for a job in the potato division). Could Bill be worried about an old leftie like Biden building another 40 years of Dem dominance? Hmmmm.

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Dec 7, 2022·edited Dec 7, 2022

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JVL: "They not only protected the lives of the people who work in the Capitol—they protected the lives of the insurrectionists, too, by refusing to escalate the violence."

Yeah, well, the other shoe to drop is that the insurrectionists were almost uniformly white men

When law enforcement chooses to instigate or escalate violence, it is almost always targeted at blacks/POC -- law enforcement almost never escalates violence against white men, regardless of the provocation

Jan 6 -- a new day, but same old shit

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Yikes!!!

Sorry, Charlie -- this comment was meant to be directed at JVL

(Yes, my face is red)

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Happy Warnock Win Day!!! What great news to see when I woke up at 3 a.m.

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Thx for the Thatcher info. Completely agree candidate quality matters.

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Agree. I always thought of Obama as bi-racial, raised by whites. And he was not descended from West Africa Blacks, as most African Americans are, who carry the legacy of slavery.

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I just read Tom Nichols’ intro to the Atlantic. He sums up the entire Republican debacle in one short album title, from one of my all time most beloved rock bands- What Once Were Vices Are Now Habits. It doesn’t get more succinct than that.

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I think we'd be much better off now if the Capitol Police had gunned down the insurrectionists, as they would have been fully justified in doing. A couple dozen dead MAGA might have led to some actual introspection, and possibly reevaluation about how far they want to go to "stop the steal" or "take their country back" if it could actually mean sacrificing their lives for the cause. A handful of people going to jail, 2 years after the fact, doesn't have the same impact.

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No! That’s wrong! Had the Capitol police used deadly force, it would have invariably escalated the situation. Considering how badly the Metropolitan and DC police were outnumbered, that would have meant more dead police officers - who knows if Officer Fanone and Officer Gonnell and the others would have made it out alive.

Also we shouldn’t wish death on anyone. Some of the people rioting at the Capitol *did* horrible things yes, but they were not horrible people. They were regular people who were hurting or felt threatened. Their leaders and the people in charge of telling them the truth willfully lied to them. They pretended to care about them and their grievances in order to get them to do their dirty work and then sat back and watched. Those are the real villains here.

The people who were actually caught and prosecuted were patsies. They may have only been sentenced to a few years in jail but some (like the man who testified at the 1/6 hearings) also lost their jobs and families and their money and houses paying for lawyers and court fines and they will probably have a hard time finding work again.

Do they deserve it? Yes! They committed egregious acts of violence, vandalized our sacred institutions, injured and killed police officers and tried to overturn the results of a fair election by force. I’m not trying to excuse their behavior: They deserve to be punished according to the full extent of the law.

But two things can be true at the same time. We can condemn them while also feeling some compassion that they were used as pawns in a game orchestrated by powerful people who never paid any real price for the part they played in the events of that day. Those are the people who deserve the greatest part of your anger.

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In my darkest dreams, the MAGAs would have taken and grievously hurt Hawley, Lindsey, Cruz and ever single R that voted against the certification.

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Dec 7, 2022·edited Dec 7, 2022

I’m not even sure about #1 on Bill Kristol’s list based on Sarah’s last focus group and the number of people who felt they had to vote for Walker to get the Senate to 50-50 for the sake of “balance” despite agreeing that Walker was a “buffoon” :( At this point, I’d be happy with Warnock making sure that Walker gets nowhere near DC - even if it’s by just 1 or 2 percentage points. 🤞🏼

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Awwww. Bill is so cute! I was an optimist, too, back when I was 100% convinced the Emoluments Clause was going to save us.

I think Trump’s problem now is he doesn’t have a specific challenger. He feeds off dominating individuals and when he gets one all that hate-fueled energy will come roaring back.

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" The New York Times BREAKING NEWS

The Trump Organization has been found guilty in a tax fraud scheme in which executives were offered off-the-book benefits."

Wait for the FFG to start screaming, "I don't know those guys", and when that fails, "IT'S ALL LIES!!!!"

And in other news, right now Warnock is up to 55%. If it were Trump, he'd be screaming to end the counting.

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founding

Since the 90's the Republican play book seems to have been to crate a straw man of how bad the Democrats are then running against that straw man. What do democrats do to regain control of their own image with independents and moderate Republicans?

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Nothing. This is not the responsibility of the Democrats. Joe Biden should keep doing what he’s doing - building relationships across the aisle and working to pass practical bipartisan legislature that’s popular with most Americans. He shouldn’t attack Republicans or respond to attacks. He shouldn’t try to actively “win” back moderate Republicans or Independents.

Independents and moderate Republicans can then look at that what he’s done and what his opponents have done and then make a decision on what they prefer.

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They don't see it. They aren't in that bubble.

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founding

JVL,

Let's say that Republican "leaders" become convinced that "they can't win without Trump, but they can't win with Trump either". What's there best play then?

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Bill’s prediction can’t work - not because it’s overly optimistic (which it is) or because a large chunk of Republican voters want to be led by an aggressive populist (which they do) but simply because of the fact that regardless of how popular the “Never Trump” movement becomes, there isn’t a “Never Trump” political party! This is a dilemma - maybe not for voters or media or activists or intellectuals but definitely for *politicians*!

Supposing even that the most improbable of Bill’s events happen and a lot more elites and voters join the “anti-Trump” movement, they still hit a wall at the ballot box! Either they stay home on Election Day or when they get to the ballot box, they must decide between 4 choices - (1) A candidate who overtly supports Trump & Trumpism (2) A candidate who doesn’t overtly support Trump or Trumpism but also doesn’t rebuke him too strongly so as not to lose favor with the base (3) A third party or write-in or (4) A Democrat.

If a “never Trump” Republican or Independent voter chooses option 1, then they aren’t *really* “never Trump” because fascist populism by any other name still stinks! If they choose option 2 because they know the candidate is a “normie” Republican who doesn’t support Trump or MAGA but can’t publicly denounce Trump or Trumpism because they are beholden to MAGA voters, why would anyone think they would magically *stop* being beholden *after* they were elected?!? If you don’t know the answer, ask Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger or Mitch McConnell or Ben Sasse or Brian Kemp or hell ANY Republican politician!!!

Option 3 is a meaningless protest vote unless anyone honestly believes that a magical third party will get started, funded, organized and become popular enough among a large group of people to become a contender between now and 2024. I’m not ruling it out but I think I have a higher chance to score Taylor Swift tickets for Met Life this summer…So the only option left is to stay home or vote for a Democrat.

Either way, a *real* growth in the Never Trump movement *requires* that, at least in the short term, more Democrats win and more Republicans lose. That’s the hard reality and the crucial step that Mr. Kristol leaves out of his ambitious list. And losing is *hard* because it means losing not just elections but losing your livelihood, your social circle, your standing and your reputation. It means losing your sense of who you are and what you stand for. And if it’s so hard for intellectuals and ideologues - for journalists and strategists and communications people to lose that, I can’t fully imagine what it must be like for *politicians* - especially older ones.

Granted it’s incredibly difficult to start or grow a movement and all of you guys deserve the highest praise for doing that. But while being “against something” may work for a movement, it can’t sustain a party. America only works because at some point it stopped being about “opposing Britain and the King” and became about “creating a functioning democratic republic”. But that required an actual Revolution.

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The only currently viable "Never Trump" party is the Democratic party. And a lot of former Republicans would rather vote for the guy who wants to dump the constitution.

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Yeah…that was basically my point. It’s sad.

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Love reading your messages. I'll leave commentary to others, which I also enjoy reading. That said, let me briefly say that optimism wins in my book. We can do this. Our fight for democracy, decency and care for our fellow man is a worthy cause.

Thank you for this platform. Barbara

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