So unfortunate that the right wing stagers of this stunt only got actual people better taken care of. I promise you, that was not their intent.
Well, the lawyers are involved now:
Entire thread can be read on Twitter, or here:
And for those unfamiliar, this is the best news piece on “Reverse Freedom Rides” I’ve found so far, from NPR:
The Cruel Story Behind The 'Reverse Freedom Rides'
The Reverse Freedom Rides have largely disappeared from the country's collective memory. The scheme almost never appears in history books and is little-known even in Hyannis, the primary target of the ploy. But some hear echoes of that segregationist past in America's present. And for the families that came to the North based on a lie, the journey has cast an enduring shadow on their lives.
The segregationists tapped into a network of local groups called Citizens' Councils. Despite the sanitized name, the councils were essentially "the Ku Klux Klan without the hoods and the masks," said historian Clive Webb.
Webb, a professor at the University of Sussex in England, specializes in studying racists. Fifteen years ago, he published the first—and still the only—major academic article on the Reverse Freedom Riders.
In other news:
Amy Walter/Cook Political Report:
Is This 1998? Or 2018?
Everyone in politics knows how difficult it is for the party in power to not lose ground in a midterm election. In order to succeed in a midterm election, that party needs to be able to do two things:
1. Energize their base
2. Convince independent/swing voters that supporting the change candidate is a bigger risk than sticking with the status quo.
In 2018, Republicans accomplished the first but fell significantly short on the second.
Voter turnout that year was the highest of any midterm election in 100 years. And, it wasn't just Democrats showing up to vote. Even though Donald Trump wasn't on the ballot, about three-fourths of those who supported him in 2016 came out to vote, slightly lower than the 78 percent of Clinton 2016 voters who came out to the polls in 2018.
But, the presence of a different type of 'surge' voter — the voter who sat out in 2016 but showed up in 2018 — helped give Democrats a significant boost. "Voters in 2018 who did not vote in 2016 were a small group (about 11% of all 2018 voters) but an important part of why the Democratic Party made gains," wrote Pew Research in their post-2018 validated voter survey. "Among the 2016 nonvoters who voted in 2018, Democratic House candidates led Republican House candidates by a more than a two-to-one (68% to 29%) margin."
So, while Republicans turned out their base, it wasn't enough.
The most recent NBC polling found that the GOP's once significant advantage of enthusiasm to vote in this midterm has all but vanished. In May, for example, Republicans had a 17-point advantage among voters who said they were "very interested" in the election, and in August, that advantage had shrunk to just 2 points. Even GOP strategists privately concede that Democrats are more motivated to vote than they were earlier this cycle.
But, driving up Democratic turnout to match that of GOP turnout isn't enough. They also need to hold their own among independents.
In 1998, Republicans wanted to make this a referendum on Bill Clinton but they failed, due to a good economy. Hello, independents.
David Atkins/Washington Monthly:
Voters Don’t Believe You Stand for Things Until You Actually Do Them
What’s behind the Democratic comeback summer? Chalk it up to voters seeing Republicans overturn Roe and Democrats making big moves on issues like climate change.
Interestingly, it turns out that when both Republicans and Democrats get real substantive things they want, voters are impressed by Democrats and repulsed by Republicans. Back in March, Democrats were trailing by at least four points on the generic congressional ballot, per reputable pollsters. Today, Democrats are leading by four points. While nothing is assured and much can change between now and Election Day, Democrats are increasingly confident in their ability to hold the U.S. Senate and even dare to hope that they might hold on to the House.
David Leonhardt/NY Times:
‘A Crisis Coming’: The Twin Threats to American Democracy
The current period is different. As a result, the United States today finds itself in a situation with little historical precedent. American democracy is facing two distinct threats, which together represent the most serious challenge to the country’s governing ideals in decades.
The first threat is acute: a growing movement inside one of the country’s two major parties — the Republican Party — to refuse to accept defeat in an election.
The second threat to democracy is chronic but also growing: The power to set government policy is becoming increasingly disconnected from public opinion.
See also: Echoing Trump, These Republicans Won’t Promise to Accept 2022 Result (NY Times).
Danny Westneat/Seattle Times:
The story of the praying Bremerton coach keeps getting more surreal
“The record is clear that Coach Kennedy was fired for that midfield prayer,” lawyer Paul Clement told the nine justices in the first 15 seconds of the oral arguments of the case in April. The words “fired,” “fire” or “firing” were used 16 times in the hour and a half session.
It wasn’t true though. The district’s lawyers tried to correct the record, to no avail.
“You can’t sue them for failing to rehire you if you didn’t apply,” one lawyer, Mercer Island’s Michael Tierney, argued during a lower court session. “The District didn’t get an application from him, had four positions to fill and filled them with people who had applied. It didn’t fail to rehire him.”
The Supreme Court simply ignored this inconvenient fact — along with a host of others. At one point during oral arguments, as a different school district attorney was saying the narrative that had been spun didn’t fit with the facts — that the coach’s prayers were neither silent nor solitary, nor was he fired — Justice Samuel Alito interrupted him, saying “I know that you want to make this very complicated.”
Jonathan Chait/New York:
The GOP’s Surrender to the Antisemites
Before Trump came along, antisemites had little investment in American politics. His rhetoric articulates themes they recognize as compatible with their own, and he has given them a reason to marshal their energies on behalf of one side in a two-party system from which they had been excluded.
There is a simple test to measure their influence. If antisemites were too marginal to pose any danger, it would be easy enough for the party to cut them off. (If you want to know what it looks like when Republicans decide to really throw somebody out of their party, look at their treatment of Liz Cheney.) Instead, they vacillate. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declined to comment on Gosar’s attendance at white nationalist Nick Fuentes’s conference. McCarthy has likewise promised to restore Greene’s committee privileges if Republicans regain the majority.
Andriy Zagorodnyuk/Atlantic Council:
Ukrainian victory shatters Russia’s reputation as a military superpower
The scale of Ukraine’s recent victory has stunned the entire world, but perhaps nobody was as surprised as the Russians themselves. Naturally, the Kremlin sought to suppress news of the counteroffensive, but the speed of events and the sheer scale of the collapse meant that details of the unfolding disaster could not be completely censored despite the best efforts of the authorities. The resulting realization was a huge psychological blow for the Russian public, who learned for the first time that their soldiers in Ukraine were demoralized and beaten. The rout of Russian forces in Kharkiv Oblast was also a painful wake-up call for Ukrainian collaborators, who realized that Russia cannot be relied upon and will abandon them without thinking twice.
Beyond these immediate implications, Ukraine’s counteroffensive also says much about the broader state of the Russian military and provides valuable indications of what we can expect to see next. From now on, fear will shape every single decision made by Russian commanders in Ukraine. This will not be fear of losing precious lives or damaging Russia’s national interests; it will be a very personal fear of retribution from a vindictive hierarchy seeking culprits to blame for the rapidly declining fortunes of the Russian army.
Ukrainian Success Will Not Be Catastrophic
We’re the strong ones in this conflict, and we deter more effectively when we act with confidence on that knowledge.
When lionized for Ukraine’s putting up an unexpectedly stiff resistance to Russian aggression, [President] Zelensky implored the international community to understand that all Ukraine wants is peace. “I don’t want them destroyed—I want them all to remain.” More than 200 days after Russia invaded, he sounded equally focused on the survival of his people when he spoke to a group I was with in Kyiv this week: “The people are the only treasure we have.”
He has succeeded in bolstering Ukrainians’ hopes: 97 percent believe that Ukraine will definitely or likely win the war, and 40 percent favor no concessions of any kind to end the war. Ukrainians believe they are fighting for the fundamental values of a free society: human dignity, political liberty, national security. Those beliefs have electrified the society, which is engaged in impressive civic activism in support of the defense effort—something that will be studied by Western countries as mastery of 21st-century warfare.
Clausewitz also wrote that “the moral elements are among the most important in war. They constitute the spirit that permeates war as a whole.” Ukraine’s war has those moral elements, and they are generating societal resilience and garnering international support; Russia’s war does not, and that will doom it. Russia likely cannot recover from its strategic mistakes or generate the resources to achieve its war aims, especially because its leadership remains obdurate and its military forces are failing to adapt.