Fox News’ Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson distance themselves from Trump
Rush Limbaugh also distances himself from president’s efforts to overturn his election defeat by Joe Biden
Trump is certainly suffering one landslide defeat: in election-related lawsuits. According to the Democratic elections lawyer Marc Elias, the president has won one such case – and lost 35.
It feels like Monday was the day the Republicans realized they had lost, and it all happened in Michigan. This is the best piece you’ll read on what happened, including an introduction to Aaron Van Langevelde, the conservative you never heard of, who was instrumental in saving American democracy:
The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal
How a state that was never in doubt became a ‘national embarrassment’ and a symbol of the Republican Party’s fealty to Donald Trump.
With all 83 counties boasting certified results, the only thing that stood between Joe Biden and his rightful claim to Michigan’s 16 electoral votes was certification from the state board of canvassers. In a rational political climate, this would not have been the subject of suspense. But the swirling innuendo and disinformation had long ago swept away any semblance of normalcy. Already, one of the board’s two Republicans, Norm Shinkle, a career party fixture, had hinted he would not vote to certify the state’s result. Because the two Democrats would obviously vote in favor of certification, a manic gush of attention turned to the other Republican member, Aaron Van Langevelde.
The problem? Hardly anyone knew the guy. Van Langevelde, a deputy legal counsel to the Michigan House GOP, had been appointed to the board less than two years earlier by Governor Rick Snyder. He had kept a deliberately low profile in Lansing, attending the occasional happy hour but spending most of his time in nearby Eaton County, where he lives with his wife, an assistant prosecutor, and their three children.
All day Friday, and throughout the weekend, a chorus of Michigan Republican heavyweights tried and failed to contact Van Langevelde. When it became apparent that his extended family was shooing away callers—giving the impression he did not welcome this intrusive sort of spotlight—word got around that Van Langevelde had cold feet. By Sunday morning, speculation was rampant that Van Langevelde would resign from the board on Monday. This made perfect sense to Republicans and Democrats alike: Based on their fact-finding mission into the mysterious fourth board member, Van Langevelde was a bookish type, a rule follower, an obsessive student of world history (particularly the Roman Empire) who believes to his core in a conservative application of the law. His pious Dutch sensibilities, one co-worker said, make him “the the kind of guy that would turn himself in for tasting a grape at the grocery store.” He would be inclined, Lansing insiders figured, to vote in favor of certifying the results. But he would be disinclined to throw away his future in the Republican Party. A resignation from the board was his only way out.
Or was it? 🤔
Biden’s ‘balancing act’ with early personnel picks shows how he’ll governThere’s a little something for everyone in the president-elect’s choices.
The president-elect understands that he has to continue this balancing act in constituting his presidency,” [Bill] Galston [a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution,] said. “Biden is a unifier, and he’s picked a team of fellow unifiers. These are not people who go out of their way to pick fights, especially with other Democrats.”
So far, he’s giving everybody from progressive activists to centrist Democrats something to be happy about and little to fight over.
Why they fight
The Democrats are a big-tent party. The GOP isn’t. That explains everything.
After a masterful presidential campaign that brought together every wing of Biden’s party, our politics seemed to snap back instantly to old habits and an old rule: Republicans fight Democrats while Democrats battle each other. These contrasting behaviors reflect a simple fact: Democrats are a big-tent party, while Republicans are a closed circle. For more than a half-century, Republicans have purged dissenters and turned themselves into a rigid, radical, unified bloc — ideologically, racially, religiously. As the Republicans cast off free-thinkers, Democrats took them in.
This makes Democrats the larger party with better long-term prospects. But it also means that Biden’s party is at risk of either pushing away the middle-of-the-road voters it needs to hold its majority or disillusioning the progressives who often power its apparatus, especially in urban centers. And Democrats must also struggle in a political system that — especially through the Senate and the electoral college — artificially tilts the playing field toward the GOP. Although Democrats ruefully invoke the old Will Rogers joke (“I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat”), their struggles are not a product of some psychological peculiarity. History has made them what they are, and they have to learn to live with it if they want to win and govern.
Trump has set a hidden trap for Biden. It could do great damage.
Biden vowed to “restore the soul of the nation” as president, meaning he won’t use the power and influence of the office to carry out a white nationalist agenda or to lend support to right-wing extremists and white supremacists, instead “uniting” the country.
But what does all this mean in practice? It means many things, from purging immigration policy of naked bigotry to rolling out an agenda that takes systemic racism seriously to having a president who doesn’t actively encourage police and even vigilante violence.
But one of the most thorny problems Biden faces will be how to reverse the failures of the previous administration when it comes specifically to violent domestic extremism and white supremacy.
Yuval Noah Harari/NY times:
When the World Seems Like One Big Conspiracy
Understanding the structure of global cabal theories can shed light on their allure — and their inherent falsehood.
Understanding the common structure of such global cabal theories can explain both their attractiveness — and their inherent falsehood.
Global cabal theories argue that underneath the myriad events we see on the surface of the world lurks a single sinister group. The identity of this group may change: Some believe the world is secretly ruled by Freemasons, witches or Satanists; others think it’s aliens, reptilian lizard people or sundry other cliques.
But the basic structure remains the same: The group controls almost everything that happens, while simultaneously concealing this control.
What line did Sidney Powell cross that Rudy Giuliani didn’t?
Ridiculous claims and embarrassing behavior are clearly acceptable. So what wasn’t?
Powell did do two things that Giuliani avoided, however.
The first was that she implied the involvement of Republican elected officials in her delineated conspiracy theory…
The other obvious failure on Powell’s part was that she was unable to give Fox News adequate cover to present her claims uncritically. She had been slated to appear on Tucker Carlson’s show last week but backed out after Carlson asked her for evidence to support her claims. Carlson’s bar for presenting allegations isn’t high; he recently apologized on-air after claiming that a dead man voted in Georgia, only to learn from a local television station that he hadn’t. But Powell’s hostile response to the request prompted Carlson to note the lack of evidence on air — even as he self-consciously insisted to his audience that he really, really wanted to be able to present her case.
Want to understand Biden voters? Here’s your reading list.
After Donald Trump won in 2016, the media and academia embarked on a numbingly comprehensive sociological and anthropological examination of “the Trump voter.” Reporters and researchers swarmed what seemed like every bereft factory town in the industrial Midwest, every hill and hollow of Appalachia, every windswept farming community throughout the Great Plains. I’m pretty sure television crews did, in fact, bring us reports from every single diner in the contiguous United States — at least, those where at least one regular patron wears overalls.
Never mind that nearly 3 million more of us voted against Trump four years ago; no one seemed terribly interested in our inner lives, our hopes and dreams. This time, however, the gap is too big to ignore — Biden, the president-elect, beat Trump by more than 6 million votes and counting. He won back the heartland of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. He won Georgia, for heaven’s sake.
Logically, then, we should put aside those dog-eared copies of J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy” and subject “the Biden voter” to the same kind of microscopic scrutiny. Venture out of your bubble, Trump supporters, and try to understand how most of America thinks