The Briefing Vol. IX, Issue 8
- Trump would have been blamed for Texas
- California’s recall election is going to happen, and Gavin Newsom is in trouble
- Rubio’s path seems clear
Rush Limbaugh, RIP: The expansion of the conservative movement in the post-Reagan era was not an accident. It was the result of the free flow of ideas on the radio. This was the result of President Ronald Reagan’s decision — against the opinion of many conservative leaders at the time, such as Phyllis Schlafly — to end the so-called “fairness doctrine.”
Rush’s voice influenced many people profoundly. One day in the late 1980s or early 1990s, in an intro segment coming out of a commercial, he made an unqualified statement in favor of the right to life. That resonated with my beliefs and opened my mind to his other ideas.
Rush was fairly consistent over the years, but he changed quite a bit in the Trump era. Still, on some level, if not on every single issue, the idea that “Rush is Right” was never far from the minds of his so-called “ditto-heads.”
Reqiescat in pace.
Texas storms: Here’s a fun thought exercise — imagine that the current Texas disaster had taken place while Donald Trump was president. You don’t need to ask whether he would have been blamed for it — of course he would have!
As matters stand, President Biden hasn’t done anything particularly awful with regard to this situation. But it’s also a bit bizarre to watch global warming alarmists try to connect it to their pet cause. A huge part of the problem has been the near-complete failure of the state’s wind power. Its gas delivery system also failed, although less dramatically. Both systems can be winterized — it’s just that only one of them can be set up to increase its generating capacity instantly at moments of peak electrical demand. And that’s natural gas. The Biden Administration’s bias against this fuel is going to force some immediate problems, not only in
Nominations: Neera Tanden’s nomination to run the White House Office of Management and Budget appears to be going down in flames, thanks in large part to her immature behavior on social media. There is some schadenfreude at work here: the Left hates her, but it is a moderate Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, who is going to sink her nomination.
All in all, the Biden administration is having a hard time confirming its cabinet, even though Democrats are in charge of the U.S. Senate and Republicans are not putting up much resistance. But the next big fight will be over California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, whose extreme positions on abortion and lack of experience in the area of health care could cause him trouble for his nomination as secretary of Health and Human Services. The fight over his nomination could shape a generation’s worth of arguments over the issues involved. His repeated antagonism of religious groups and his outright hostility toward pro-lifers just trying to help pregnant women will loom large in his confirmation procedure.
California: If you were looking for further signs that the recall election is really going to happen this year, here it is. An internal poll for the campaign of former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, R, found that 47% of voters would vote yes to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, D. Only 43% said they would not.
Given that there are only two choices on this first ballot question — to recall or not to recall — this is no small matter. It reflects the genuine peril in which Newsom now finds himself, and from which he cannot easily escape.
Having been caught in lies about his own conduct (that is, hypocritically breaking his own coronavirus rules), and with his state circling the drain in numerous ways, Newsom is in deep, deep trouble and may be impossible to save. At this point, his party’s best chance for retaining monopoly power in California is probably to cut him loose — to come up with a plan B, a candidate who can defeat Faulconer and the other Republicans planning to run in the near-certain recall election.
The petition drive for the recall, at this point, should be considered a fait accompli in that it is certain to obtain the required number of valid signatures.
Florida: Ivanka Trump will not challenge Sen. Marco Rubio in the Republican primary This makes his path to re-election look better and better. At the moment, the best Democratic opposition to Rubio is probably Rep. Val Demings. The next-most-prominent, former Rep. Alan Grayson, is a less-than-ideal candidate against someone as stable and popular as Rubio.
Georgia: Former Sen. David Perdue, R, coming off his narrow loss in January, has filed to run for the state’s other Senate seat — that is, against Sen. Raphael Warnock in 2022.
Warnock’s Georgia seat is one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable in the midterm election. But his extremism didn’t prevent him from winning the runoff in 2020, so Republicans in the state have some big questions to ask themselves.
Ohio: As expected, former Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken announced her candidacy for the open seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Rob Portman. This pits her against former State Treasurer and 2012 nominee Josh Mandel, R, who lost in a bid for the state’s other Senate seat in 2012 and then withdrew from a 2018 rematch. On the Democratic side, Rep. Joyce Beatty has ruled herself out of the race. At the moment, Rep. Tim Ryan seems like the most formidable Democratic candidate. His decision to run made his House colleagues’ seats that much safer in redistricting. Still, he has an uphill climb in a state where Republicans have been ascendant in the Trump era.
New York: Amid rumors that Rep. Elise Stefanik might run for governor, the word within the state is that Tom Reed is definitely in. He is a much better bet to run. Meanwhile, Stefanik has a bright future if she remains in the House and competes for the leadership positions that will be available to her.