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Biden Doubles Down on Vaccination Schedule

On Tuesday, Joe Biden delivered remarks on the COVID-19 situation and his administration's vaccination strategy. It is quite clear, now that most people who want to be vaccinated have been, the White House is moving into Phase II.

Most notably, Biden set two new goals for his administration—and the country—to meet. By July 4, he wants to see (a) a total of 160 million U.S. adults fully vaccinated (i.e., half the population), and (b) 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated. The President also listed some of the steps that will be taken to achieve those goals; mobile vaccination vans, rural vaccination clinics, and door-to-door shot giving are among the ones we noted yesterday. He also instructed all pharmacies to begin offering walk-in shots (in other words, no appointment needed) and, in a significant change in policy, said that vaccine doses would be allocated to states based on demand rather than population.

Obviously, the choice of July 4 is significant. It's a major patriotic holiday, of course, and one imagines there will be some messaging coming down the pike about vaccinations being a patriotic duty. Further, he really wants to pay off the implied promise from his first White House address: "If we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4th, there's a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day."

Speaking of messaging, GOP pollster Frank Luntz is hit-or-miss (and, more often than not, miss), but he raised an interesting notion while talking to CNN's Jake Tapper:

I have a dream that Joe Biden will actually credit Donald Trump and Operation Warp Speed for getting the vaccines to market so quickly. I have a dream that Donald Trump will actually credit Joe Biden for getting the vaccines out to people, and that the two of them will credit their own doctors and let their own doctors then deliver the rest of the message. Jake, we could save thousands of lives if Joe Biden and Donald Trump together would credit each other and then let the doctors speak for the rest of the 30 or 60 seconds. That would move people. That would get people's attention and would actually get them vaccinated.

Donald Trump never gives anyone but himself credit for anything, so that part of it isn't going to happen. But what if Biden said that the vaccine is the single-greatest accomplishment of the Trump administration, and that Trump supporters should not allow it to go by the wayside? If he was flattering enough, Biden might even get his predecessor to do a pro-vaccination commercial making the same basic argument. This would fit in with Biden's goal of being bipartisan, and since the recovery is mostly happening on his watch, he'd get most of the credit anyhow, even while he was publicly giving credit to Trump.

That probably won't happen, of course. However, we will note that while Trump was prone to make wild promises he could not pay off, Biden has thus far been an adherent of the philosophy that one should under-promise and over-deliver. If he's committing publicly to 50% fully vaccinated and 70% partly vaccinated by July 4, he must have pretty good reason to think that's going to happen. And if it does, then herd immunity would at least be in reach for the United States. (Z)

Whither the Republicans: George W. Bush

Last month, we had an impromptu series of items on the looming crises threatening the Republican Party. Here's a refresher, should you care for one:

We also wrote one item on the Democrats, though their situation is nowhere near as tenuous as the Republicans' situation is, so there is less to say.

We are not the only ones who think the GOP is headed down a destructive path, as it turns out. George W. Bush spoke up recently, and as forcefully as he has on this subject, and decreed that if his Party "stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestantism, then it's not going to win anything." He has been making the rounds promoting his book in particular, and his pro-immigration vision in general, and was obviously responding specifically to the plans Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) had to found a caucus devoted to promoting white, Anglo-Saxon values, before she was talked out of it by someone whose identity remains a mystery.

Bush thus becomes the second prominent Republican in the last two weeks, with John Boehner the first, to lament the state of the Republican Party while behaving as if they had nothing to do with these developments. Recall that among the features of the Bush presidential administration were:

  • Weaponizing the Department of Justice
  • Pitting Americans against other Americans (specifically, scapegoating LGBTQ folks)
  • Global warming denial, and an anti-science posture
  • Score-settling with enemies, such as Valerie Plame
  • Mismanagement of natural disasters
  • Misappropriation of funds allocated for military spending
  • Cronyism
  • Contempt of Congress

The Bush presidential playbook was, at very least, the rough draft for the Trump presidential playbook.

In any case, a number of readers have expressed skepticism that there is an imminent crisis facing the GOP. To those people, we say: "George Bush says there is, so there!" OK, not really. However, Bush's remarks do give us an opportunity to discuss, at greater length, the clearest historical analogue to the modern GOP, as we see it. That would be Southern Democrats in the decades before the Civil War.

The modern Democratic Party was crafted from the remains of the Democratic-Republican Party by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren in the late 1820s and early 1830s. Van Buren brought northerners who favored low taxes, a small federal government, and a tolerant immigration policy into the Party. Jackson brought pro-slavery white Southerners and populists of all stripes into the Party. The Northern and Southern factions of the Party, back then, in many ways paralleled the Bush/Cheney and Trump factions of the Party today.

The folks who made up the Southern Democrats were, from the days of the Constitution (and well before the days of the Democratic Party), skeptical that they, their culture, and their economic system could permanently be a part of the United States. And that skepticism reached a fever pitch in the 1840s and 1850s, as white Southerners—slave owners and non-slave owners—concluded that their way of life (including slavery) was in danger, threatened both by demographic changes and the emergence of a (then-) modern industrial economy. So, the Southern Democrats became increasingly aggressive as they tried to maintain the status quo. Their bag of tricks included:

  • Controlling the White House most of the time by finding candidates that were strongly pro-Southern and pro-slavery, but still acceptable to the Northern Democrats
  • Using those pro-South and pro-slave presidents to stack the Supreme Court, which in turn committed egregious offenses against the law in an effort to advance a pro-Southern agenda (e.g., Dred Scott)
  • Taking advantage of the setup of the Senate to keep that body evenly divided (or nearly so), and almost constantly gridlocked
  • Stopping anyone who was not on team white supremacy from voting in Southern elections
  • Embracing propagandistic, pro-Southern entertainment, books, and periodicals
  • Suppressing entertainment, books, or periodicals that were not pro-Southern
  • Claiming the existence of vast, shadowy anti-Southern conspiracies
  • Threatening violence against political opponents, and sometimes following through
  • Rejecting science, with the exception of pseudoscience that validated the Southern point of view (for example, scientific "studies" that "proved" that Black Southerners had more in common with chimpanzees than with White people)

Perhaps this list looks somewhat familiar? And the thing is, these tricks worked very well...for a while. From the advent of the Democratic Party until 1860, five presidents were themselves Southern slaveholders (Jackson, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, and Zachary Taylor), while another three were doughfaces—Northerners with a strongly pro-South point of view (Van Buren, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan). In that time, only Millard Fillmore was not an enthusiastic member of Team South, and he wasn't elected (he succeeded Taylor upon Taylor's death in 1850). Meanwhile, the slave states controlled at least half of the Senate, or nearly so, from the 1830s through 1861, while Southern control of the Supreme Court was rock-solid during that entire time.

And then, it all fell apart. SCOTUS was so obvious in its biases that it was rendered impotent for years after Dred Scott (1857). The Southern Democrats and Northern Democrats ceased seeing eye-to-eye in 1860, split into two, and then watched as Abraham Lincoln was elected based on a promise to limit the spread of slavery (Lincoln would have won even if the Democrats hadn't split; their division just took all the drama out of Election Day, such that everyone knew his victory was certain). Lincoln's coattails brought a Republican-majority Congress along for the ride, such that unfriendly-to-slavery officeholders controlled both chambers. In view of this, Southern Democrats concluded—with good reason—that the death of their way of life was either imminent or, at best, not too far into the future. So, the slave states left the union—seven of them before Lincoln was inaugurated, another four after he chose to supply a federal fort in South Carolina called Sumter.

The Republican Party of 2021 and the Southern Democrats of the antebellum era are not identical twins, of course. Even if we just limit ourselves to politics, the modern GOP has much greater strength in the House than the Southern Democrats (or the entire Democratic Party of that era) generally did, while the Southern Democrats were rather more successful in presidential elections than the modern GOP has been. Do not forget that the Republicans have won the popular vote in just one of the last eight presidential elections, and that's likely to become one of nine in 2024.

Of course, the most important difference is that today's Republican Party is not terribly likely to secede from the U.S., and so a climax as profound and as destructive as what happened in the 1860s is not probable. It could take multiple presidential cycles, perhaps even multiple decades, for it to become crystal clear that the GOP is a minority, sectional party. But that is where they are headed if current trends hold.

There are, of course, ways in which current trends could take a slight (or sharp) left turn. The Republicans could keep their current coalition, and yet also find a way to bring some new and important interest group into the tent, like Latinos. That is not easy to do, though—if it was, every party would do it. One struggles to think of many analogues in U.S. history. Maybe Franklin D. Roosevelt, who managed to win over a lot of Black voters with his economic policies, while keeping anything related to race at arm's length, thus allowing him to also hold the Solid South. We struggle to think of any Republican today who is anywhere near FDR's league, though.

Alternatively, the people who run the Republican Party could decide Trumpism is a loser, turn their backs on that faction, and take their medicine for a few cycles while things get sorted out. That is obviously what Bush is hoping for, not to mention Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY; more on her below). But that also takes a leader of great political skill—if not an FDR, then a Richard Nixon, or a Bill Clinton. It also takes buy-in from some meaningful portion of the Party leadership, and thus far, most of the GOP's movers and shakers are content to genuflect before King Donald I. (Z)

Whither the Republicans: Liz Cheney

Soon, the drama that has pitted House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (the #3 Republican in the House) against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA, the #1 Republican in the House) will reach its denouement. It sure looks like Cheney is going to lose her leadership position. The real issue is that Cheney refuses to join the Cult of Trump, but McCarthy can't say that, so he "accidentally" got caught on a hot mic explaining that "I think she's got real problems. I've had it with—I've had it with her. You know, I've lost confidence." Knowing that it would hurt the Party to lose the only woman they have in House leadership, the Minority Leader is working to find some other Republican woman to take her place. At the moment, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) appears to be the favorite, but Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) are in the running.

The very specific issue here is that Cheney refuses to embrace the fantasy that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election. That delusion is the current entrance exam for membership in the GOP, particularly if you want to be an officeholder. And so, she must go. Or, to use the word that The Wall Street Journal employed in an editorial written in defense of Cheney, she must be purged.

Many times, it has seemed that Trump crossed a line—grab 'em by the pu**y, obstruction of justice, "good people on both sides," paying zero taxes, Ukraine, tear gassing citizens in order to be able to stage a clumsy Bible photo op, the insurrection—that would break his hold on the Republican Party, and cause a substantial anti-Trump backlash to finally emerge in the GOP. And yet, he just keeps on keepin' on.

Could this be different? There is absolutely no question that a huge number of Republican voters actually believe the lie, and will never accept that Joe Biden won the 2020 election. There are also some officeholders who seem to really believe it, too—Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) among them (not coincidentally, folks who are not the sharpest knives in the GOP drawer). But certainly most of the upper-tier Republicans know what is really going on, and that Trump is perpetuating a ridiculous falsehood in order to keep himself relevant and to protect his more-fragile-than-an-eggshell ego.

They also know that undermining elections ultimately saps their authority, by calling into question the legitimacy of all election winners, regardless of party. And they must be scared to death of what the next embrace-it-or-you'll-be-destroyed lie will be. That Trump is not subject to term limits? That all non-white immigrants to the U.S. are members of criminal gangs? That everyone in the Biden administration is a pedophile? That the Federal Reserve is a scam run for the benefit of Jewish bankers? Clearly, the day came when Cheney said "enough is enough." It probably wouldn't take too many others to shift the tide, particularly if they were the right people. The effects of a joint, anti-Trump statement from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) could be pretty profound.

That said, politicians are risk-averse, and it is improbable there will be any more high-profile apostasy, at least until the 2022 elections are over. If it becomes clear that Trump is dragging down the Party—or, at least, that Trumpism doesn't work without him on the ballot—then maybe some of the Republican leadership will put their feet down, in hopes of salvaging 2024. It's also possible that the McConnells of the world are hoping that Trump is literally removed from the political arena, either by being sent to prison, or by dying.

Meanwhile, did Cheney make the right choice, politically speaking? That depends a lot on what her goals are. A Senate seat was hers for the taking, and she didn't take it, presumably because her goal was to become Speaker of the House. That's not happening now, so if that is our rubric, then she blew it. On the other hand, if she has presidential aspirations—which she's certainly hinted at—she could be sitting pretty.

Cheney's immediate concern is keeping her job; incumbency and the likelihood of multiple Trumpy candidates splitting the primary vote, coupled with the red tilt of the general election vote, should make that doable. And then, while the Trump lane is clogged with wanna-be Donalds, and the sorta-Trump lane doesn't actually exist (sorry, Nikki Haley and Mike Pence!), she would be the dominant occupant of the NeverTrump lane. Every other Republican who has turned against The Donald is either lesser known (Adam Kinzinger, Justin Amash, etc.) or is out of politics and not terribly likely to get back in (John Kasich, Jeff Flake, etc.). Cheney 2024 is not likely, but if Trumpism finally collapses (or Trump dies, or is sent to prison), Cheney 2028 could be the first page of the Republican Party's next chapter. (Z)

Trump Launches His "Social Media Platform"

Today, Donald Trump will learn whether or not he's allowed on Facebook again. Yesterday, in advance of that news, he formally launched the "big" and "revolutionary" social media platform he promised, one that was allegedly going to attract tens of millions of visitors a year. You can view it here, if you wish; otherwise, here is a screen shot of what it looks like:

Very simple page 
with 'From the desk of Donald J. Trump at the top, an introductory video below that, and then a series of 
twitter-like messages that have his name on them, and buttons to the right where you can click to share the
message on Facebook or Twitter, or you can click a heart to presumably 'like' the message

It's just a page on his website, and the format—far from being revolutionary—is that of a standard WordPress-type blog. The Facebook and Twitter buttons allow people to share posts to their own social media accounts, which the two platforms said they will allow despite Trump being banned, assuming the messages comport with their policies. The heart button ostensibly allows people to "like" a posting, but that function isn't actually working yet.

This approach hardly gives Trump what he had with Twitter and Facebook. There are no user accounts, so there will be no bragging about millions of followers. And, more importantly, it is nowhere near as easy for him to propagate his messages. Either a person has to specifically head to his webpage, or one of their online "friends" has to do so, and then share the content. Either way, there's an extra step or two between the former president and his audience. And any specialist in Internet usage will tell you that every step you add costs you about 90% of your readership.

As a result, the Facebook decision that will be announced today remains very consequential. And here is the figure to keep in mind while you wait: $160 million. That is how much money Trump 2020 spent on Facebook advertising. It is not going to be easy for a company, even one whose revenue is in the billions, to keep that spigot permanently turned off. Meanwhile, that figure also speaks to how important the platform was to Trump in terms of fundraising and getting his message out there. Twitter may be where he made most of the headlines, but only a small fraction of people use Twitter, and they tend to be the most engaged segment of the voting public. Facebook is where you reach the silent majority, so it's a must have for any politician, and doubly so for a rabble-rouser like The Donald. (Z)

Trump Legal Blotter, Part I: Barr Memo Is About to See the Light of Day

When it came to sweeping the Iran-Contra Affair under the rug, George H.W. Bush's AG William Barr did a heckuva job. Virtually nobody, outside of Oliver North, paid for their misdeeds, and even Ollie basically got a slap on the wrist, while using his "service" to Ronald Reagan to launch a long career as a right-wing radio pundit.

Barr tried to work his magic again during his second stint as AG, this time sweeping the Mueller Report, and its unsubtle hints that Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, under the rug. As any magician will tell you, however, you never do the same trick in the same place twice. And so, the rug-sweeping failed this time. A potentially major piece of the puzzle is about to be revealed on orders of Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in response to a Freedom of Information Act filing made by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

For those whose memory of Trump-era scandals has become a little hazy—understandable, since there were so many of them—we will remind you that the Mueller Report all but accused Trump of obstructing justice as he tried to stop connections between Russia and his 2016 campaign from being investigated. However, special counsel Robert Mueller held back from saying it directly, or from bringing charges, because he felt bound by a 1970s Dept. of Justice memo that asserts a sitting president cannot be prosecuted. Barr took it from there, and said that he'd looked into it and, based on the advice in a memorandum from the Office of Legal Counsel, decided there was nothing there to pursue. It is that memo, which has remained secret to this point, that will now be released.

Current AG Merrick Garland has been on the job for less than 60 days and, like the pro that he is, has not tipped his hand as to what he plans to do. Heck, he may not even know, since he's barely had time to familiarize himself with the obstruction situation, to say nothing of the Ukraine situation, the insurrection situation, the emoluments situation, etc. On one hand, presidents of both parties (though Republicans in particular) have gotten a bit too comfortable with a "L'état, c'est moi" point of view, and if there is anyone who could and should be made an example of in order to remind everyone that the president is not above the law, it is Donald John Trump. On the other hand, charging Trump with a federal crime (whether obstruction or some other) would spark a political firestorm, and might well lead to rioting in the streets. Garland would need to be damn certain he had the goods; otherwise, he might be better served letting things in New York and Georgia play out.

Obviously, the release of the memo introduces a new wild card into the equation. If it says something really troublesome, like, "Of course Trump obstructed justice, but admitting it would destroy the Republican Party and cause us all to get fired," then Garland's hand might be forced. He might also have to think about bringing charges against Barr, too, and Barr in turn might be a potential canary who might sing in order to save his own skin (his own feathers?). So, there are a lot of moving pieces here. And given the five-year statute of limitations on obstruction, Garland has just about a year to figure it all out. (Z)

Trump Legal Blotter, Part II: Giuliani Prosecutors Want Special Master

Bill Barr is not the only lawyer who was once in the bag for Donald Trump, and who may now face consequences for that. Rudy Giuliani is also in that boat, and is in much deeper trouble, at least at the moment. Last week, federal agents raided Giuliani's residence and seized a bunch of evidence, including paperwork and computers. And yesterday, the feds asked Judge J. Paul Oetken to appoint a special master to examine the evidence on their behalf. A special master, as readers may recall from the Michael Cohen case, is an independent legal expert—often a former judge—used to filter information seized in the course of an investigation, separating that which is relevant to the task at hand from that which is irrelevant or is covered by attorney-client privilege.

It is not terribly unusual to engage a special master in cases like this, but it's usually at the instigation of the defense, and not, as is the case here, the prosecution. Everything that has happened in the last week suggests that the feds have Giuliani dead to rights (or very close to it). Things don't get this far unless the DoJ thinks that they have enough evidence to make it worthwhile, and one or more federal judges is convinced there is plenty of fire behind the smoke. Meanwhile, taking the initiative on the special master makes clear that the feds are making very sure to cross all their t's and dot all their i's, and to manage public perception of the case. They know full well that Giuliani will try to make the case in court or in public (or both) that he was treated unfairly and that there's a conspiracy afoot.

Charges have not been brought yet, but things are clearly headed in that direction. And when and if that does come to pass, that is when America's Former Mayor is really in trouble. Once the DoJ files charges against a defendant, a judge dismisses the charges 8% of the time. If that does not happen, the DoJ gets a conviction more than 99% of the time. With that kind of record, nearly all defendants in that situation (98%) plead guilty rather than going to trial. Giuliani seems likely to join that crowd, very possibly throwing Trump under the bus as part of the conditions of his plea agreement. (Z)

Florida Politics, Part I: Crist Declares for Governor

The 2022 Florida governor's race will be one of the most closely watched contests of the cycle, both for clues as to which way Florida is headed in 2024, but also because Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) figures to play an outsized role in the next presidential election, either by trying to steer Florida's EVs into the GOP column by hook or by crook, or perhaps as a presidential/vice-presidential candidate.

DeSantis got his first serious Democratic competitor on Tuesday, when Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) formally declared his candidacy (a move that had been expected for a couple of months). Crist knows something of stagecraft, and so the announcement was accompanied by a gospel choir and an array of waving flags. We do not know what song the choir performed, but presumably it was not "I'd Rather Have Jesus" or "Why Me, Lord?"

We do not claim to have our finger on the pulse of Florida politics, but Crist is an intriguing candidate. He was himself governor of the state from 2007-11, elected to office as a Republican, then switching to independent in 2010, before finally registering as a Democrat in 2012. He wrote a book about the switch, entitled The Party's Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat. That kinda tells you everything you need to know, and keep in mind that he was writing that well before Donald Trump came along.

Anyhow, if Crist gets the nomination, most Florida Democrats are going to vote for him. They're going to vote for anybody who isn't DeSantis. And the more that the GOP continues its devolution into the Cult of Trump (a cult of which DeSantis is a proud member), the more likely it is that more traditional Republicans will take a look at Crist as a viable alternative. Point is, there is a plausible coalition there that could carry Crist to victory.

But now the bad news for the former-and-would-be-future governor. Though Crist has won statewide in Florida (twice, once as governor and once as state AG), his last statewide contest did not go well, as he was defeated by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in a three-way race for the seat that Rubio now occupies. Further, the Democratic primaries next year figure to be brutal, as Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (who has won statewide far more recently than Crist has) will likely be a candidate. Rep. Val Demings has also expressed interest, as have half a dozen less-well-known Florida politicians.

Meanwhile, it's no small feat to knock off an incumbent. It's possible DeSantis could be in trouble by November of next year, but the latest poll says he's holding firm right now. His approval rating is 53%, which is well short of his best (he used to be in the 60s), but is definitely in "sail to reelection" territory. Crucially, he has the support of 89% of Republicans and 59% of independents. In head-to-head matchups, the Governor outpolls Crist 52% to 41% and Fried 51% to 42%.

As we so often say, in politics a week is a lifetime. And again, there's a viable path for Crist to win. But he's going to have his work cut out for him. (Z)

Florida Politics, Part II: Special Election Set for January

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) passed away on Apr. 6, necessitating an election to replace him as representative in FL-20. The district is D+31, and is 53% Black, and so his replacement is certain to be a Democrat and is nearly certain to be Black. The only question is: "When will the replacement be chosen?" Florida law gives Ron DeSantis very wide leeway in answering that question, and on Thursday he announced his decision: The primary will be held on Nov. 2, and the runoff will be held Jan. 11 of next year.

In explaining the rather long timeline, DeSantis said: "I know there'll be a lot of folks that want to run for it, so hopefully that gives them enough time to be able to get on the ballot and do whatever they need to do to be competitive." It is certainly true that there are a lot of candidates; it's looking like it will be about half a dozen Republicans, and closer to a dozen Democrats, with 4 or 5 of those Democrats regarded as having a real shot at winning the thing. Further, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott (D), who has direct responsibility for overseeing elections in FL-20, reportedly suggested those dates to the Governor.

So, it could be that DeSantis made a reasoned and fair decision. The other way to look at it, however, is that the seat will be vacant for more than nine months, which is close to double the length of time a seat was open the last time a vacancy occurred in the Sunshine State (in 2013, when Republican Bill Young died). That means that for the better part of a year, over 800,000 Floridians—again, the majority of them Black—will be without representation in the House. It also means that Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) margin of error on roll-call votes will be a bit narrower than it otherwise would be.

Perhaps these consequences were incidental, though if so, they surely didn't hurt the Governor's feelings all that much. It is also hard to imagine that he would allow a safe Republican seat to stay open for nine months. We may actually be able to put that theory to the test sometime soon as FL-01, Rep. Matt Gaetz's (R) district, is R+20. There is also a lawsuit pending that will put the decision under a microscope; it was filed by one of the folks (Elvin Dowling) who hopes to succeed Hastings. Since the Constitution and Florida law are both fuzzy on how quickly an election must be called, the suit is based primarily on a claim that the Governor is violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by allowing the people of FL-20 to go without representation for so long. We are not specialists in constitutional law, so we have no idea how likely that claim is to hold up. If you made us guess—again, as admitted non-experts—we would say "not too likely." (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
May04 A Race Against Time
May04 A Biden Misstep: The Refugee Cap
May04 Another Biden Misstep: The Letter
May04 Judgment Day for Trump Is Imminent
May04 Redistricting Is Already a Mess
May04 Be Careful What You Wish For
May04 Jenner Stakes Out Her Territory
May03 Biden Wants GOP Support for His Infrastructure Bill "If Possible"
May03 Manchin Believes that D.C. Statehood Requires a Constitutional Amendment
May03 Republicans Threaten Cheney
May03 Giuliani May Have to Choose between Saving His Own Neck or Trump's
May03 Biden Is Giving the Pentagon Back the Money Trump Took for Wall Construction
May03 Poll: 64% of Americans Are Optimistic about the Direction of the Country
May03 Cindy McCain Calls Arizona Election Audit "Ludicrous"
May03 A Battle Is Brewing over the Chairmanship of the South Carolina Republican Party
May03 TX-06: It's Over Before It Starts
May03 Cheri Bustos Will Not Run for Reelection
May02 Sunday Mailbag
May01 Saturday Q&A
Apr30 The Takeaways Are In
Apr30 The Reviews are In, Part I: Joe Biden
Apr30 The Reviews are In, Part II: Tim Scott
Apr30 The Ratings Are In
Apr30 100 Days
Apr30 Trump Says He Would Consider DeSantis for VP
Apr30 Zinke's Back
Apr30 It Would Seem that Trans Rights Are the New Gay Marriage...Maybe
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