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TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  The Takeaways Are In
      •  The Reviews are In, Part I: Joe Biden
      •  The Reviews are In, Part II: Tim Scott
      •  The Ratings Are In
      •  100 Days
      •  Trump Says He Would Consider DeSantis for VP
      •  Zinke's Back
      •  It Would Seem that Trans Rights Are the New Gay Marriage...Maybe

The Takeaways Are In

Yesterday, we gave our take on Joe Biden's first address before a joint session of Congress. Our conclusion: "the overarching themes of the speech were: (1) kumbayah; (2) I'm doing pretty well, and feel free to think of me as FDR's doppelgänger; (3) I'm the anti-Trump; (4) let's recognize every major part of the Democratic coalition; and (5) watch out for China."

With the passage of 24 hours, everyone and their mother has produced their own lists of takeaways. Well, actually, that is not 100% true. We would prefer to present responses from across the political spectrum, but for some reason, right-leaning commentators do not generally do "takeaways" when it's a Democratic speech (or debate). And when they do, they don't seem to grasp what "takeaways" means. So, this roundup doesn't quite have the balance we'd like. With that said:

Niall Stanage, The Hill:
  • A calm case for big action
  • Pictures spoke a thousand words: Nearly empty chamber, and two women on the dais
  • The barely mentioned elephant in the room: Donald Trump
  • The big idea—a test of democracy
  • Biden proves elusive target for GOP
Annie Karni, The New York Times:
  • History is made with two women on the dais
  • Mr. Biden wants to be more than a 'transitional' president
  • He took a victory lap on the coronavirus
  • Bipartisanship has its limits
Kevin Liptak, CNN:
  • A long wait ended—and Biden wants to move fast
  • Biden argues big government is better government
  • Covid is impossible to ignore
  • Symbolism on display
  • A case to the world (especially China)
Deirdre Walsh, NPR:
  • The era of big government is back, and Biden is all in
  • A New Deal for the middle class
  • Reasserting democracy abroad
  • Marking history
Jeanine Santucci and Rebecca Morin, USA Today:
  • A call for police reform after conviction of Derek Chauvin
  • A historic evening for women in politics
  • Biden urges reinstatement of assault weapons ban
  • Biden calls tax hikes on rich 'fiscally responsible'
  • 'Let's end our exhausting war over immigration'
  • 'Go get vaccinated, America'
Molly Nagle, Sarah Kolinovsky, and Ben Gittleson, ABC News:
  • The pandemic made this a speech like none other
  • Biden projects optimistic tone after year of despair
  • Biden's lofty goals face a partisan reality check
  • Biden unveils new $1.8 trillion 'families plan'
  • History made: Madam speaker and madam vice president
Sahil Kapur, NBC News:
  • Morph 'crisis into opportunity'
  • Populist appeals to 'forgotten' voters
  • Similar approach as $1.9 trillion law
  • Two women, a historic first
  • Biden goes off script, again and again
Maanvi Singh, The Guardian (UK):
  • The pandemic cast a strange pall on the yearly political tradition
  • It was a historic evening for women in government
  • 'Jobs, jobs, jobs'
  • Biden ushered in a new era of big government, and big government spending
  • The president pitched reforms that have bipartisan support—among voters, if not lawmakers
Aaron Blake, The Washington Post:
  • 'All of you': A repeated, fanciful nod to bipartisanship
  • A conspicuous China focus
  • Hey, big spender
  • Setting the terms of the tax debate
Daniel Bush, PBS:
  • Progress on the pandemic
  • A historic first
  • 'Jobs, jobs, jobs'
  • Few signs of bipartisanship

It's interesting to see how some things stick out to some commentators, but barely get mentioned by others. That said, there are some pretty clear recurring themes across these 10 sets of takeaways (11, if you include ours): (1) the Harris-Pelosi dais was a big deal, (2) COVID-19 hovered over the event, (3) Biden plans to go big or go home, (4) bipartisanship, as that term is commonly understood, is a long shot, and (5) China looms large. Those would seem to be the main notions that will linger as the speech recedes into the mists of history. (Z)

The Reviews are In, Part I: Joe Biden

Those are the takeaways; now let's take a look at some of the appraisals of Joe Biden's speech from left-leaning, international, and right-leaning commentators:

David Gergen, CNN: "Only twice before in history has an American president done what Joe Biden did tonight: issue a clarion call for a transformation of the nation's social safety net. Franklin Roosevelt was the first to envision a strong, impenetrable safety net that would protect citizens from cradle to grave. That was the essence of his first 100 days after his election in 1932. Inspired by Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson chose his first congressional speech as the forum for laying the groundwork for his Great Society programs after his 1964 election. But can Biden be as successful? He certainly gave one of his most effective speeches tonight. For the first 40 minutes of his address, he laid out a menu of delights for the middle class that will surely be popular. His arguments for his plans were well crafted and deftly delivered."

Nicole Hemmer, CNN: "Biden delivered a powerful argument: the era of big government is back. But big government with a Biden spin—he called the American Jobs Plan 'a blue-collar blueprint to build America,' and called on Congress to raise taxes on corporations and top earners, in order to 'reward work, not wealth.' It was a far cry from the days when former President Bill Clinton stood in the same chamber contrasting work with welfare. These policy-heavy speeches are never particularly stirring, and Biden does better in more intimate settings. But in laying out a bold, progressive vision in clear terms, he set the tone, and the goalposts, for the next stage of his presidency."

Hayes Brown, MSNBC: "On Wednesday night, a moderate president addressing a (moderately full) House of Representatives gave a moderate speech before a joint session of Congress, laying out a moderate set of proposals."

E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post: "President Biden on Wednesday night went big, populist, folksy, hopeful, urgent—and bipartisan and partisan at the same time."

Leana S. Wen, The Washington Post: "With his speech before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, President Biden missed his biggest opportunity to reduce vaccine hesitancy. The problem wasn't the content of his speech—it was the setting. The 200 attendees entered the 1,600-person-capacity House chamber spaced apart and wearing masks. Some appeared to be double-masked. They were asked not to make physical contact, though some still fist-bumped or shook hands. There were markers indicating which seats could be occupied, with numerous empty spaces in between. As the president spoke, the vice president and speaker of the House sat behind him, both clad in masks. If I didn't know better, I would have thought this was six months ago, before Americans had access to safe, highly effective vaccines."

Alex Ward, Vox: "Yes, his first congressional address was a boilerplate political speech. It was full of the usual platitudes and won't change many minds. But it may be remembered as Biden's earliest major plea to the nation to join him in proving democracy isn't as bad as all the other options. It's the core of the president's domestic and foreign policy message and, increasingly, the driving force of his presidency."
David Bossie, Fox News: "The Biden Doctrine—say one thing and do another—was on full display Wednesday night as President Joe Biden delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress. The president tried to come across to members of Congress and a national television audience as a moderate, knowing full well he will be returning to the White House to execute the duties of his office much differently. On the heels of his unity-themed inaugural address from 100 days ago—which now rings completely hollow—why should the American people expect anything different from this president?"

Chris Wallace, Fox News: "I think this is going to be a popular speech with the American public. He offered a lot of stuff. $4 trillion will buy a lot of stuff, from millions of jobs to child care to community health centers, all kinds of stuff, community colleges."

The Editors, National Review: "Biden conjured a world in which there was no danger from unprecedented deficit spending, no possible adverse consequences from raising taxes on corporations and rich people, no spike in violent crime that needs attending, and no foreign threats that demand of us more than platitudes about leadership. Even as he proposed one of the most radically Left policy agendas in American history, he continued to feign an eagerness to work with Republicans."

William Kristol, The Bulwark: "The speech was old-fashioned but it was also present-oriented. Or maybe that's what one should expect from a kind of old-fashioned liberal. After all, liberals tend to be more interested in the near past, the present, and the near future, than in history. Fancier liberals—call them progressives—are very interested in History with a capital H, and are often quite taken with their own part in advancing it, in Historically significant ways. Barack Obama enjoyed fancying himself in such a role. Biden is a more prosaic, less grandiose, more old-fashioned kind of liberal."

Jennifer Van Laar, RedState: "The most terrifying part of his speech, and the Democrats' agenda, is H.R. 1, the "For the People Act," which takes the most hideous parts of California's voting laws (universal absentee ballots, extended early voting, ballot harvesting, same-day registration) national. It's not hyperbole to say that if this bill is passed and fully enacted, it would guarantee permanent Democrat Party rule."

Jay Evensen, Deseret News: "It's been a long time since family values dominated any party platform in the capital. Of course, the family measures Biden outlined in his American Families Plan would cost $1.8 trillion, added onto his $2.3 trillion 'infrastructure' plan, which would be added onto the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill he already got Congress to pass, which was added to earlier stimulus bills, get the idea. Folks used to say when Washington talked about helping people, it was a good idea to hang onto your wallet. But everything's digital today, so..."
Anthony Zurcher, BBC: "[Biden] assured the nation that the US will prevail. His ending, however, seemed designed to create a sense of urgency—one that, perhaps, he can harness to achieve the ambitious agenda he set out on Wednesday night."

Gilles Paris, Le Monde: "'After a hundred days, I can tell the country: America is moving forward again,' Joe Biden assured listeners in a determined and often resolutely optimistic tone, maintained for over an hour. His speech, delivered to a small audience due to the pandemic, endeavored to make the fight against inequalities a priority through massive investments, led by the federal government, and supported by an increase in taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans."

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera: "United States President Joe Biden's speech in Congress this week underlined the depth and detail of his transformative national agenda. But his hurried muttering about America's powerful rivals also revealed the vagueness and inconsistency of his foreign policy."

David Shribman, The Globe and Mail: "Wednesday evening was a striking new direction for a country yearning for both normal social interactions that suddenly seem within its reach and, just as desperately, for the public serenity and political unity that remain stubbornly beyond its reach."

David Smith, The Guardian (UK): "His 65-minute speech, the most important since his inauguration 99 days ago, could be summed up with three Bs: Big (in ambition), Boring (at times) and Bipartisan (or maybe not so much, judging by Republican grimaces). It will not go down as a rhetorical masterpiece, but nor will it be seen as the cringeworthy equivalent of a tearful Oscar acceptance speech. Instead, in the sparsely populated chamber of the House of Representatives, it laid out a transformative presidency and offered some more healing for post-Trump stress disorder."

A fair number of interesting observations, but you do get the impression that most of the right-wingers were watching an entirely different speech from everyone else. (Z)

The Reviews are In, Part II: Tim Scott

It turns out that it's not so easy to come up with lists of takeaways from a 15-minute speech. It also turns out that foreign media largely don't care about speeches by people below the rank of president (beyond expressing surprise at the news that America is not a racist country). Still, we can at least give Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) a partial Biden treatment, and run down how some left-leaning and right-leaning commentators felt about his response to Biden's speech:

Clay Cane, CNN: "In the 1870s, Hiram Rhodes Revels and Blanche Bruce, both Republicans, became the first two Black US Senators. I have to think they would be appalled to see what has been done with their legacies. I would never call Scott an Uncle Tom. It's an insult to the character Uncle Tom, who was the opposite of Scott's buffoonery in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel. While a problematic character in other ways, Tom is a man who sacrifices himself for the good of others. In his unswerving devotion to party politics, Sen. Scott is an embarrassment on his own—not just for his lies or his cavalier dismissal of systemic racism but for his pursuit of political gain at the expense of the health of our democracy."

Andy Kroll, RollingStone: "When Senator Scott said it was wrong to 'to fight discrimination with different discrimination,' he was putting himself in league with John Roberts. It was a telling choice of words in one of the most important speeches of Scott's career so far. It's a sign that the jaundiced logic that was once relegated to the certain fringes of the GOP has now taken center stage and found a home with even the party's more reasonable members. Then again, Scott also said on Wednesday that 'Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat,' and anyone who can say that with a straight face on national TV might not be so reasonable after all."

Greg Sargent, The Washington Post: "It would be wonderful if the Republican Party that Sen. Tim Scott conjured up in his rebuttal speech on Wednesday night actually existed. In his response to President Biden's address to Congress, the South Carolina Republican portrayed a party profoundly devoted to racial progress, grounding public health responses in science, spending generously to help Americans through hard times, and making it easier to vote for people of all races. In so doing, Scott revealed a party badly on the defensive in some of our biggest arguments. Rebuttal speeches are often useless, but this one is instructive: It hints at how the GOP hopes to recapture power despite their defensive posture, with a waiting game."

Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post: "I won't insult Scott's intelligence by suggesting that he's being cynically used by his party. But I assume he must know the truth that [Kamala] Harris speaks: We'll never solve the problem of racism in this country until we fully acknowledge it. Yet he offers soothing words to GOP voters who want to believe that racial discrimination is a thing of the distant past and that systemic racism does not even exist. When he says 'America is not a racist country' he's telling his audience—the Republican base—what it wants to hear. Not what it needs to hear. "

David A. Love, Yahoo! News: "Listening to Scott's speech, one was reminded that he is speaking not to Black people, but to white Republicans who believe Blue Lives Matter and police should be able to brutalize, even kill Black bodies with impunity, and that his whole purpose as a Black Republican is to serve as a Trojan Horse for the GOP, a Negro Whisperer for white supremacists."
Jeff Charles, RedState: "[Y]ou have probably seen the utter vitriol that the hard left is directing toward Sen. Scott for being depraved enough to be a black conservative lawmaker. And why are these brave and virtuous souls upset with Scott? Because he dared to do what far-leftists have found to be overly challenging: Take a sensible approach towards the conversation on race. During his rebuttal, Scott savaged the woke theology practiced by too many on the far left. He recounted some of the racism that he experienced even as a sitting United States senator, acknowledging that racial bigotry still exists in the country. He even brought up examples of leftists attacking him with racial slurs. But he also stated that despite this being a reality, America is not an overall racist nation."

Michael R. Strain, National Review: "To be sure, this was a political speech. Parts were overly partisan for my taste, and I don't agree with all the senator's conclusions. But he showed real, unifying leadership on the national stage at a time when that is desperately needed from the political right. Bravo."

Scott Jennings, CNN: "South Carolina Senator Tim Scott's rebuttal was magnificent. He's not the GOP flavor of the month for 2024, but he should be. Scott is one of the most compelling and unifying voices in the Republican Party today."

Dan Gainor, Fox News: "The liberal mobbing of Scott was almost instantaneous and reminiscent of how Democrats used to treat African Americans who dared speak out."

Jason Chaffetz, Fox News: "Sen. Scott hit the mark and hit it out of the park, I think, in showing the dramatic contrast between Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden and showing a vision and a belief that it's not just hope—that he is confident that we will move forward if we institute those conservative principles."

So, the lefties hated it and the righties loved it, which pretty much comports with our assessment that "Scott's speech was about 95% red meat for the base." (Z)

The Ratings Are In

The folks at Nielsen have already crunched the numbers, and have come up with an estimated audience for Joe Biden's Wednesday address to Congress: 26.9 million people across 16 broadcast and cable networks.

For sake of comparison, Donald Trump drew 48 million viewers for his first speech to Congress, while his final (and lowest-rated) speech to the legislature pulled in 37 million. In short, if The Donald had not been kicked off Twitter for being a naughty boy, he would have spent all day Thursday crowing. As it is, the right-wing media were happy to crow on his behalf. Some sample headlines:

RedState: "The Ratings Are In for Biden's Big Speech, Embarrassment Commences"
The Daily Wire: "Ratings For Biden's Address To Congress Are In, And They're Horrendous"
WorldNetDaily: "Joe Biden's address to congress was a ratings DISASTER"
National Review: "Biden Speech Draws 26.9 Million TV Viewers, a 28-Year Low"
Fox News: "Biden address to Congress draws just 22.6 million viewers, less than half of Trump's audience in 2017"

Most of these outlets are so eager to play up the allegedly poor ratings that they dishonestly used the "seven biggest networks" viewership (22.6 million) instead of the total viewership (26.9 million).

The implied message of these right-wing Biden-Trump ratings comparisons is that Biden is far less popular than his predecessor. But that is clearly not the case; Biden's approval rating is considerably higher than Trump's was at this point in his term (or at any point in his term). The more correct way to interpret the ratings is that the Donald—a.k.a. the one-time star of the reality TV show "The Apprentice"—is more entertaining than Biden is. Trump's fanbase tuned in to see how he would "own the libs," and everyone else tuned in to see what new outrages the 45th president might perpetrate. We suspect that if you asked Biden, he would be happy to concede that he's not the showman that Trump is.

There's another contributing factor, and it's the explanation favored by folks who analyze TV ratings for a living: Live TV viewership has been waning for years, as people shift in the direction of streaming and on-demand programming. The pandemic has sped the shift up noticeably, such that nearly everything these days is setting records for low ratings. For example, the Oscars, which were broadcast Sunday, attracted just 9.85 million viewers, an all-time low. The 2020 broadcast, which aired right before the pandemic started, drew 23.6 million viewers. So, you begin to get a sense of the hit that live TV ratings have taken due to COVID-19.

There may be other explanations for Biden's ratings that are not immediately evident, but whatever the case may be, his viewership clearly does not suggest what the right-wing media say it suggests. (Z)

100 Days

Yesterday, of course, was Joe Biden's 100th day in office. And as long as we're comparing Biden and Donald Trump already (see above), why don't we compare their presidencies at the 100-day mark?

Measure Biden Trump
Approval Rating
Average approval, Inauguration Day 53% 45.5%
Average disapproval, Inauguration Day 36% 41.3%
Net approval, Inauguration Day +17% +4.2%
Average approval, Day 100 53.8% 42%
Average disapproval, Day 100 41.5% 53%
Net approval, Day 100 +12.3% -11.0%
Net change, 100 days -4.7% -15.2%
Actions Taken
Bills signed 11 30
Executive orders signed 42 33
Predecessors' XOs revoked 62 12
Communication and Outreach
Days to first solo press conference 65 27
Tweets from POTUS Twitter account 592 489
Tweets from personal Twitter account 19 464
Inaccurate statements (WaPo count) 67 511
Phone calls to foreign leaders 26 47
U.S. States visited 9 10
Foreign countries visited 0 0
The Economy
S&P change, first 100 days +8.7% +5.1%
Dow Jones change, first 100 days +8.4% +5.8%
Jobs Added 1,380,000 528,000
Index of Consumer Sentiment change, first 100 days +8.0% -1.8%
Appointments and Staffing
Appointees confirmed 40 25
Judicial nominations 14 2
Major White House resignations 0 2
White House staffers bitten by dogs 2 0
Golf outings 1 20

The two major resignations for Trump, in case you need a refresher, were NSA Michael Flynn and Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The former lasted just 24 days, while the other survived for 45. Period.

In any case, these presidencies clearly got off to very different starts. Beyond that, we will let you draw your own conclusions. (Z)

Trump Says He Would Consider DeSantis for VP

There are a number of political storylines these days that largely aren't worth writing about until there's some actual, you know, movement. Among those:

  • "Joe Manchin says he might maybe sorta support a change to the filibuster, but on second thought, maybe not."
  • "Rudy Giuliani says he didn't do it."
  • "Matt Gaetz says he didn't do it."
  • "There has been a Mike Pence sighting."
  • "Trump makes vague comment about the possibility of a 2024 presidential run."

Point is, we wouldn't normally mention the "news" that Trump says he would "consider" Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) as a running mate in 2024, if he mounts another presidential run. First of all, "I would consider...if I run" is about as noncommittal as is humanly possible. Second, of course Trump would consider DeSantis. Trump would consider running with The Son of Sam if he thought that would attract the most votes.

Our only interest in this story is that it brings up an interesting conundrum. By the terms of the 12th Amendment, electors cannot cast their votes for both a president and a vice president from their home state. This is why Dick Cheney "moved" back to Wyoming, as he and George W. Bush (correctly) suspected they would not have enough EVs to elect Cheney as VP if both men remained residents of Texas. But is that solution available to a potential Trump-DeSantis ticket, which many Republicans see as the "dream" 2024 pairing? It is implausible that a sitting governor (assuming he runs for reelection and wins, both of which are likely) could establish residency in another state. And would Trump be willing to swallow his pride and do so—say, heading back to New York with his tail between his legs? Would that even be plausible, given that everyone knows full well where Trump resides now? It may just be that the "dream ticket" is not plausible, thanks to the Constitution. (Z)

Zinke's Back

Quiz time! Consider these two fill-in-blank questions:

________________ used his authority as Secretary of the Interior to steer sweetheart deals on government-owned lands in Montana to his buddies. He did this because it was an excellent opportunity to line his own pockets on the government's dime.

________________ used his authority as Secretary of the Interior to steer sweetheart deals on government-owned lands in Wyoming to his buddies. He did this because it was an excellent opportunity to line his own pockets on the government's dime.

So, which of those is properly filled in with "Ryan Zinke" and which is properly filled in with "Albert Fall," the villain of the notorious Teapot Dome scandal? It doesn't especially matter, of course—the point is that they did the same exact thing (though, for the record, Zinke was Montana and Fall was Wyoming). Their fates were rather different, though. Fall became the first cabinet secretary to be sent to prison for crimes committed while in office, while Zinke was allowed to resign, and then the matter was largely dropped because the leader of the executive branch was not interested in punishing one of his own.

Since Teapot Dome, Fall has been remembered as the most notoriously corrupt cabinet secretary in U.S. history, and with good reason. But Zinke not only did the same thing, he also utilized government planes for personal trips, which is illegal. Oh, and he forced his underlings at Interior to run personal errands for him, which is also illegal. And, acting in his official capacity, he traveled to Las Vegas to hit the owner of the Las Vegas Golden Knights up for political donations. That is—you guessed it—illegal. If Fall was the most corrupt cabinet member ever, and then Zinke did the same stuff plus a bunch more, then what does that make Zinke?

So, what to do with someone like that? In the 1920s, as noted, the answer was "send them to prison." In the 2020s, by contrast, the answer appears to be "send them to Congress." As we have written several times this week, Montana has just added a shiny, new seat in Congress. And Zinke, who already represented Montana in the House for one term (2015-17) decided that sounds like something he would be interested in pursuing. So, even before the district formally exists, he's filed paperwork for a run.

One would hope that if someone had a record like Zinke's, a political party wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot-pole. However, the GOP pooh-bahs are already lining up behind the former Secretary, and he and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) are coordinating to make certain they run in different districts (once those districts actually exist). It's possible a viable primary challenger could show up, or that a Democrat could win the seat that Zinke runs for. But at the moment, it looks pretty likely that Zinke will soon count Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Jim Jordan (R-OH) as colleagues. He should fit right in. (Z)

It Would Seem that Trans Rights Are the New Gay Marriage...Maybe

It was not too long ago that we thought trans rights would fade in salience as a wedge issue. Clearly, we were wrong. In his address to Congress, Joe Biden decreed: "To all transgender Americans watching at home—especially young people, who are so brave—I want you to know your president has your back." Meanwhile, at the very moment he was saying that, the Florida legislature was meeting in special session to pass a bill banning transgender student-athletes. West Virginia adopted a nearly identical bill a few hours before the President's speech. Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi have also passed such bills this year, while Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) has issued an executive order to the same effect. In addition, Arkansas also adopted a law banning gender-affirming medical treatments for trans minors, while similar measures are pending in Alabama, Tennessee and Texas.

In short, the battle lines are forming. Or maybe it's more correct to say they have already formed. This surely feels familiar to Biden, who watched as both senator and vice president while the GOP weaponized opposition to gay marriage. The most notable, and successful, implementation of this approach came in 2004, when anti-gay-marriage ballot propositions were used to get evangelicals to the polls. The Republican Party knew that while the evangelicals were there to vote against the gay folks, they would also vote a straight Republican ticket.

But here is the difference and, to us, the mystery. The folks in Florida and Arkansas and West Virginia aren't talking about putting these proposals on the ballot in 2022. No, they're just enshrining them into law. And we're struggling to see where the political benefit is here. Is it just a backlash (translash?) in response to the fall of Trump and the ascendance of the Democratic Party nationally? Is this so that elected officials in red states can claim they are "doing something," so they have a record to run on in 2022? Do they plan to argue that if the Democrats remain in power in Washington, then Biden, Pelosi, & Co. will somehow descend on red states where they have no legal authority and no political power and overturn the laws, so people better vote Republican? Are they hoping the courts will step in and kill the laws so they can be revived as ballot propositions, à la 2004? These theories are all plausible, though none seems particularly compelling, which is why we just don't feel we have a great grasp on what is going on here. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Apr29 Biden Addresses (a Small Bit of) Congress
Apr29 Redistricting Revisited
Apr29 MacDonough Has Become K Street's New Star
Apr29 Two Key Biden Judicial Nominees Testify
Apr29 Feds Search Giuliani's Apartment
Apr29 Fed Will Keep Interest Rates Near Zero
Apr29 Poll: Americans Approve of Biden
Apr29 Kelly and Warnock Are Bellwethers
Apr29 Budd's Bid
Apr28 This Is Not a State of the Union Address
Apr28 This House Isn't Big Enough for the Both of Us?
Apr28 Hundreds of Prominent Businesses Support LGBTQ Equality
Apr28 Send in the Clowns
Apr28 More on the Census
Apr28 More on Crying Wolf
Apr28 No More "Op-Eds" in The New York Times
Apr27 The Returns Are In
Apr27 Supreme Court Pulls the Trigger on Concealed-Carry Case
Apr27 Kerry Enmeshed in Scandal...Maybe
Apr27 And Speaking of Crying Wolf
Apr27 Armenian Genocide Is Now Official (at Least in the U.S.)
Apr27 California Recall Is a Go
Apr27 Trump Endorses Wright in Texas
Apr27 Collins Is Out
Apr26 Biden's Next $2 Trillion "American Families Plan" Will Be Released This Week
Apr26 Redistricting Is Upon Us
Apr26 Biden Is Still Popular
Apr26 Poll: Reaction to Chauvin Verdict Is Partisan
Apr26 Walker Freezes Georgia
Apr26 Caitlyn Jenner Is Running for Governor of California
Apr26 Carter Beats Peterson in Louisiana
Apr26 The "Great Replacement Theory" Has It Backwards
Apr25 Sunday Mailbag
Apr24 Saturday Q&A
Apr23 House Passes D.C. Statehood Bill
Apr23 Biden Announces Ambitious Plans on Climate Change
Apr23 Democrats Are Also Working to Change the Voting Laws
Apr23 Black Democrats Prioritize H.R. 4 over H.R. 1
Apr23 Montana Restricts Voting Rights
Apr23 Democrats' Ambitions Are Succumbing to Reality
Apr23 Vanita Gupta Confirmed as Associate Attorney General
Apr23 Trump Is Still Gunning for Kemp
Apr23 Giuliani Is Ramping Up His Plans to Run for Governor of New York
Apr23 The Grift Goes On
Apr22 Well, That Didn't Take Long
Apr22 Senate Democrats: Republican Infrastructure Proposal Is a Non-Starter
Apr22 Whither the Republicans, Redux, Part III: The Conspiracists
Apr22 Whither the Republicans, Redux, Part IV: The Faces of the Party
Apr22 Whither the Republicans by the Numbers, Part I: The Evangelicals
Apr22 Whither the Republicans by the Numbers, Part II: National Trends