Big Bipartisan Moment Hurt the Freedom Caucus’s Feelings
Last night the House easily passed the bill Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden had agreed on over the weekend to avert a default on the national debt. The final result was 314-117 with four not voting, including at least one adamant critic of the bill. More Democrats (165) voted in favor than Republicans (149), which speaks to the discontent among conservatives and the strength of the deal brokered by the White House….
The Freedom Caucus as a whole is not in a strong position after this. No one so far has shown much appetite for going after McCarthy’s speakership directly with a motion to vacate.
More on that David Rothkopf thread here:
Like so many other Biden accomplishments-from the rescue package to the infra bill, from the inflation reduction act to the CHIPs act-Biden was underestimated, he achieved progress despite his opponents' obstructionism, he didn't play media games & let the work speak for itself.
Many scoffed and said he was out of touch when he spoke during the campaign of seeking bipartisanship and compromise wherever it was possible and consistent with his core principles and objectives. And again and again and again he has achieved it.
The American Prospect:
How to Cover a Presidential Campaign
Hollowing out government capacity and leveraging executive power to harm political enemies is at the heart of the Trump-DeSantis project. Will we hear about that?
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis launched his presidential campaign with a glitchy rollout on Twitter, a sign of his obsession with online discourse. Media coverage has been rather predictable. We’ve heard DeSantis attacked as a Trump wannabe without the requisite charisma. We’ve gotten analysis that DeSantis can execute Trumpism with little drama and ruthless efficiency.
But there’s another way to talk about DeSantis’s campaign. In a recent radio interview with Mark Levin, DeSantis said, “As governor I studied all the authorities that I possess, constitutionally, statutorily, customary policies, I knew what I needed the legislature for … And the same thing would apply to the presidency. You understand Article II powers, you understand where your leverage points are, you understand your statutory authority. You also have to be willing to assert the true scope of your Article II powers, and I think most presidents haven’t been willing to do that.”
The narrow framing of presidential elections as a personality contest is a trap that allows presidential candidates to avoid highlighting the true meaning of what DeSantis said above: how he would actually run the executive branch, which after all is the definition of the job.
Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman/Washington Post:
In a deep red Florida county, a student-teacher revolt shames the right
By now, it’s obvious that the reactionary culture warriors who want to reshape American education are inspiring a serious liberal counter-mobilization in response. Remarkably, this backlash to the backlash is gaining momentum in some of the reddest parts of the country.
A raucous school board meeting in Hernando County, Fla., on Tuesday night captured what’s striking about this new phenomenon. The scene featured teachers pointedly declaring that right-wing attacks are driving them to quit, even as parents and students forcefully stood up on their behalf, demanding a halt to the hysteria.
Two Connecticut school board members resign amid book-ban controversy
Two Republican members of the Newtown Board of Education resigned Wednesday morning amid a book-banning debate, Board Chair Deborra Zukowski confirmed to the Courant.
Members Janet Kuzma and Jennifer Larkin left in the midst of a controversy over the proposed banning, or restriction, of two coming-of-age novels in the high school library.
The board, with those two spots vacant, now seats three Democrats and two Republicans.
At the board’s May 16 meeting, Larkin and Kuzma, alongside Zukowski, voted no on a motion to provide unrestricted student access to “Flamer” by Mike Curato and “Blankets” by Craig Thompson. The board’s three Democrats voted in favor of unrestricted access.
Here’s the follow-up vote that took place last night … the books stay. This book banning stuff is everywhere, even in blue states. But they’re losing.
In case you missed it, here’s a letter to the local paper from one of the authors, Mike Curato.
Janan Ganesh/Financial Times:
Why DeSantis is losing Republicans to Trump
He mistakenly thinks populist voters want to win power and do something with it
Consider for a moment what Donald Trump gives to his average follower. Membership in a vast nationwide communion of like-minded people. A paternal figure in a confusing world. The frisson of transgression: middle-aged whites don’t often in life get to play the rebel.Next to all this, what is the marginal benefit of seeing him win an actual election? What, after that, is the marginal benefit of watching his policies come into force? No doubt, Trump fans would rather have these bonus items than not. But he has done them a profound emotional and almost spiritual service before it ever gets to that.
It is not clear that Ron DeSantis understands this about populism. Until he does, he won’t displace Trump as the leader of the movement in the US. The governor of Florida trades on his electability and administrative competence. But if either of these things was paramount for voters in the Republican primaries, the contest would already be over.
From Blue Amp Channel w/Cliff Schecter:
Anatomy of a Murder: How the Democratic Party Crashed in Florida
Donors wanted “long-term progressive infrastructure” in the Sunshine State. It killed the Democratic party.
I set out to write a piece about Florida and the Democratic party several months ago. I didn’t think it would be that hard. I was wrong.
Because it’s hard to watch something you helped build get torched to the ground.
So I decided instead to tell you a story: the political story of Florida, told by a guy who was directly in the middle of a lot of it—and an observer of all of it.
Go ahead and pull up a bottle of whiskey, or maybe a bottle of champagne, depending on your party ID, and let’s get started.
Will Bunch/Philadelphia Inquirer:
Real DeSantis launch glitch was its fascism
Once upon a time, it was one of the most anticipated events of the 2024 presidential campaign cycle. But when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finally announced his GOP White House bid in an online audio-only venue, Twitter Spaces, last week, he must have been jealous of his host Elon Musk’s recent SpaceX rocket launch. At least that soared for roughly four minutes before it blew up.
Not that many people even logged into the Twitter chat, but if you follow politics closely, you’ve probably read about the parade of technical glitches — the minutes of dead air, followed by a feed that repeatedly cut out and crashed in real time. Very few folks were still around when DeSantis told Musk — apparently without irony — that “American decline is not inevitable — it is a choice.” Meanwhile, the Floridian’s bold idea for making a splash with his campaign announcement instead got worse reviews than the Cats movie. Twitter users mocked it as a “#DeSaster.”
Simply put, Trump’s efforts to politicize the Justice Department apparently weren’t fascist enough for DeSantis. When the Florida governor talks blandly about “leverage points” in the Constitution, what he’s really proposing is a level of executive control over the various levers of the federal government that is much closer to a dictatorship than anything America has experienced — the worst nightmare of the nation’s Founders. The DeSantis Way would allow a president to sic the FBI on his enemies, or demand that prosecutors exonerate his friends.