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Political Wire logo Historically Black Colleges Targeted by Bomb Threats
Democrats Make Their Biggest Redistricting Move
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TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Talkin' New York
      •  The Biden Trajectory, Part III: He's Out of Touch
      •  The Walls Are Closing In
      •  Sorry, Mike Pence
      •  Sorry, Boris Johnson

Talkin' New York

As we have pointed out many times, when members of a political party control the mapmaking process, and they have a big (or medium-sized) state to work with, they have a basic tactical choice: number of seats vs. number of safe seats. It's not a binary choice, of course; the mapmakers can choose whatever sweet spot that they think balances those two imperatives most satisfactorily. Democrats in New York, who were handed the blue team's biggest, juiciest opportunity to squeeze the map this cycle have released the new district maps for the state, which could be approved as early as today. And they most definitely decided to prioritize "number of seats."

At the moment, the New York delegation to the U.S. House has 19 Democrats and 8 Republicans, for a total of 27 seats. One of those is going away due to the census. And yet, the new map is designed to expand the size of the Democratic delegation. The current map has 15 strongly Democratic seats, 2 that are Democratic-leaning seats, 3 toss-ups, 4 that are Republican-leaning, and 3 that are strongly Republican. The new map would have 13 strongly Democratic seats, 7 Democratic-leaning, 2 toss-ups, and 4 that are strongly Republican. So, if the Democrats win just the seats where Democrats are in the majority, they will pick up one seat and the Republicans will lose two. If the Democrats win both of the swing seats as well, they will pick up three seats and the Republicans will lose four.

There is a fair bit of strategery that has gone into the map, over and above creating as many Democratic seats as is possible. To wit:

  • The two least safe Democratic-leaning seats belong to Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Antonio Delgado (both D-NY), who are among the Party's most popular members. In other words, they have some margin for error. Further, if Maloney in particular needs any money, he can call up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where funding decisions are made by Chair Sean Patrick Maloney.

  • The Democrats' open seat, vacated by Tom Suozzi so he can run for governor, has gotten bluer.

  • Two of the Republicans' three open seats, the ones vacated by John Katko (Trump was gunning for him) and Lee Zeldin (gubernatorial run), have also gotten bluer. The one that is being vacated by Tom Reed (#MeToo scandal) will stay red.

  • Two moderate Republicans' districts, those belonging to Nicole Malliotakis and Claudia Tenney, have gotten way bluer. Tenney has already announced she's going to switch districts; Malliotakis doesn't really have that option, so she's just going to have to try to hold on to her current seat.

In short, the New York Democrats not only drew a very favorable map, they aggressively juggled the districts with an eye toward vacancies and/or current incumbents.

The map is not a done deal yet. New York has an independent redistricting commission, but the enabling legislation was badly designed, and the commission was unable to come up with a map. This is what sent the job to the Democratic-controlled legislature. However, the legislation also requires that, in that eventuality, the map has to be approved by a two-thirds supermajority. That gives the blue team a margin of just two votes to work with in the state Senate, and a rebellion mounted by two senators has been known to happen, on occasion—sometimes in Albany, and sometimes in... other capital cities.

The bigger hurdle is the court system, since lawsuits are coming. The Supreme Court has already made clear that partisan gerrymanders are a-OK as far as federal law is concerned, but New York State law says that "Districts shall not be drawn to discourage competition or for the purpose of favoring or disfavoring incumbents or other particular candidates or political parties." We shall see if the seven Democratic-appointed justices who make up the Court of Appeals (New York's highest court) decide if they can sign off on the map while keeping a straight face.

If the New York map does stand, then the Democrats would be in a position to pick up half a dozen seats nationally just due to redistricting. Add in the 10-seat advantage they currently have, and the Party has a chance of holding the House if they can avoid a large Republican wave. (Z)

The Biden Trajectory, Part III: He's Out of Touch

We have thus far written several pieces about the slow-moving coup, and a couple about Joe Biden's approval ratings. We didn't especially plan to do two different "deep dive" series at the same time, but the coup pieces started first, and then the Biden pieces had a logical launching date of Jan. 21, i.e., the first day of his second year in office.

We had expressed our intent to alternate between the two series, but in retrospect that does not work so well. It's hard enough to keep the organization and narrative thread of one going, much less two at the same time. So, we're going to change our plans, and focus on Biden and his approval ratings until we're done with that, and then we will get back to the slow-moving coup.

The first two items in this series looked at how Biden's approval compares to other recent presidents at the one-year point (better only than Donald Trump's), and then what tends to happen to presidents during their second year in office (things don't generally improve).

Still, we think there is a chance that Biden can buck the trend. So, what we want to do is take a look at specific issues that appear to be hurting him, along with the possibilities for righting the ship. We're planning to use the same structure for the entire run of pieces on this theme. Note also that while we are primarily focusing on the President, we assume that the Democratic Party rises and falls with him. So, to a large extent, this is also an assessment of the Democrats and their hopes heading into the midterms.

And with that said, the complaint that we will put under the microscope today is: Biden—and the Democrats—are out of touch with many voters:

What's the problem (in a nutshell)? The general notion is that the Democrats are in the thrall of a certain segment of the economic and cultural elite, and answer only to the concerns of those folks, thus taking strong positions on fringy issues, while neglecting to "speak the language" of the heartland, or to do things that help improve the lives of said heartland dwellers.

What's the evidence? This is not an easy concern to quantify, but there are certainly a lot of left-wing pundits who are persuaded that this issue is exactly what ails the President and his party. Democratic numbers-cruncher David Shor got a lot of attention last year with this basic diagnosis, arguing that the Democratic staffers are disproportionately young and leftist, and they drag the Party far further left than it should be if winning elections is the goal. "If you look inside the Democratic Party, there are three times more moderate or conservative nonwhite people than very liberal white people, but very liberal white people are infinitely more represented," he said.

Democratic strategist James Carville said much the same thing after last November's elections, decreeing:
What went wrong is just stupid wokeness. Don't just look at Virginia and New Jersey. Look at Long Island, look at Buffalo, look at Minneapolis, even look at Seattle, Wash. I mean, this 'defund the police' lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln's name off of schools. I mean that—people see that it's just really—has a suppressive effect all across the country on Democrats. Some of these people need to go to a 'woke' detox center or something. They're expressing a language that people just don't use, and there's backlash and a frustration at that.
Carville last led a successful election campaign in 1996, but apparently hasn't yet reached his expiration date as a "political strategy expert."

A more recent example comes from Ruy Teixeira, longtime Democratic activist and author of The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century Will Be Better Than You Think. Last week's entry of his newsletter Liberal Patriot was headlined "How Not to Build a Coalition," and included this passage:
The left in the Democratic party insists that cultural leftism is central to consolidating the "rising American electorate" that will power the Democratic party to dominance in an increasingly multicultural, multiracial America. It is a feature they say, not a bug, of current Democratic practice.

But in the process, the left has managed to associate the Democratic party with a series of views on crime, immigration, policing, schooling, free speech and of course race and gender that are quite far from those of the median voter. That's a success for the left but the hard reality is that it's an electoral liability for the Democratic party.
So the pundits, or at least some of them, are seeing much the same thing when they look at what's coming out of the Democratic tent. As we noted, this is a difficult concern to quantify, but there is some polling evidence for it. When pollsters ask whether or not Biden "cares about people like me" (or other similar questions), the President does not generally do well. For example in the latest Economist/YouGov poll, 39% of respondents said that he cares "a lot" or "some" while 53% say he cares "not much" or "not at all." That's not good for someone who is ostensibly a blue-collar guy in touch with the people's pain.

There is also some hard evidence when it comes to specific political issues. For example, Biden is being hurt, at least in the short term, by the Supreme Court vacancy. Most Americans value equality of opportunity, while a sizable minority harbor some level of racist feeling. Take those two things together, and the fact that Biden earmarked the seat for a Black woman is not sitting well with a big chunk of the electorate. For example, the latest poll from Ipsos included the question: "To fill the opening on the U.S. Supreme Court, do you think Joe Biden should: (1) Consider all possible nominees, or (2) Consider only nominees who are Black women, as he has pledged to do. Option #1 was the choice of 76% respondents, which—across many outlets—triggered the headline "76% of Americans disapprove of Biden's handling of the Supreme Court seat." That's not exactly what the poll tells us, but still, the optics aren't great for him right now.

How reasonable is this complaint? Voters are, of course, free to have whatever feelings they wish, and to like or dislike a politician or a party for any reason they see fit. However, some of those feelings may be... somewhat less than rational, let's say. And when a voter's feelings aren't entirely rational, and indeed may be a means of expressing some entirely different concern, it makes "solving" the problem much harder.

Anyhow, as you might guess, we have some trouble wrapping our minds around this "the Democrats are out of touch" issue. It is true that a few very left-wing members of Congress, and some folks on NPR, and some left-leaning websites, and some number of elected officials in very blue cities say things that don't play well with many Americans, whether it's language policing, or how history should be taught, or if the police should be defunded. But when has any major Democratic politician said any of these things? When has Biden corrected someone and said "I'm sorry, it's not 'pregnant woman' it's 'birthing person'"? When has Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) decreed that the 1619 Project is the only way that he wants to see American history taught? When has Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called for the police to be defunded?

Teixeira writes that "the left has managed to associate the Democratic party with a series of views on crime, immigration, policing, schooling, free speech and of course race and gender that are quite far from those of the median voter." Every word there is correct but for one, and it's remarkable that he, as an expert in modern American politics, could screw up so badly on that one. The incorrect word, of course, is "left." And the word that belongs in that space is "right." Fox, OANN, NewsMax, The Daily Wire, WND, Will Cain, and a multitude of additional right-wing outlets and personalities have been obsessive about every "out of touch" outrage, from Starbucks cups to Dr. Seuss books to Mr. Potato Head to M&M's.

Maybe we're missing something, but this seems very obvious to us. Making hay out of these "leftist outrages" is a win-win for these right-wing outlets and pundits, since it enrages their viewers and at the same time improves the electoral prospects of the Republican Party. Surely, some enormous percentage (80%? 90%?) of the time that you hear about the wild thing this Democratic politician said, or the wild thing that Democratic politician did, it's because it became the focus of one or more days' worth of the conservative media's outrage cycle. Also note that things that the Democratic Party had nothing to do with, like the Dr. Seuss books, get hung on the blue team nonetheless.

Further, even if one wants to argue that the Democratic Party is in the thrall of a minority of its voters, and spends too much time kowtowing to them, guess what? The Republican Party is guilty of the same. We'll have a lengthier item about this particular sort of culture wars stuff tomorrow, but for now it would not be terribly wrong to say that left wingers' enthusiasm for tearing down statues is more than matched by right wingers' enthusiasm for banning books (and policing what goes on in the classroom).

What can be done? This is a tough nut to crack. If the problem really is that the Democrats are too "woke," we don't know exactly what the party leadership is supposed to do about that. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), to take the avatar for the party's "wokeness," has the right to her own opinions and, perhaps even more importantly, has constituents she needs to connect with and represent. And even if the Democrats' messaging discipline becomes near-perfect—and AOC is pretty careful these days, by the way—there will always be some small-town mayor, or some company which changes their packaging, or some outspoken Hollywood actor—to provide fuel for the right-wing outrage machine.

This weekend, we stumbled across an op-ed USA Today that captures much of the dynamic that we perceive. It's from the 2020 presidential campaign, and while it doesn't involve Joe Biden, it does involve a member of his administration, namely Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (who was then still a candidate for president). The author of the op-ed is Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America. She attended a town hall, and had this to say about her experience:
This week, at a town hall in Iowa, I finally had the chance to ask Buttigieg directly whether he would support more moderate platform language to include pro-life Democrats. He refused—twice—to even answer that part of my question and instead focused on his unyielding support for abortion and did not really seem to want the vote from me or people who share my views
The piece also contains this observation: "I support all the major Democratic causes of our day. But my party won't tolerate any dissent on abortion, and it is driving away voters like me."

After reading this, the question we have is: What, exactly, does Day want? First of all, declining to answer a question is not "intolerance for dissent." Second, abortion is one of the third rails of Democratic politics; a person can't be "soft" on that issue and hope to land the Party's nomination. Third, what is "moderate platform language" for pro-life Democrats? Either the platform is pro-choice or it's pro-life; it can't be both. Fourth, and finally, even if Buttigieg, or Biden, or any other candidate is open to "moderate platform language," there is zero chance that anything comes of that. Even the Republicans haven't been able to outlaw abortion nationwide. There's no way Democrats could do it, and it would be political suicide for them to try.

Again, we are not entirely certain what Kristen Day's purpose was here, though we do have a theory. It is not easy for someone to switch parties, particularly when their new party is led by someone as... problematic as Donald Trump. So, if switching is really what a person wants to do, sometimes they will find ways to avoid responsibility for that choice. Everyone's heard the old cliché: "I didn't leave [Party X], [Party X] left me." Maybe that's not where Day is at in her personal political journey, but certainly some of the "wokeness" complainants are. And since those folks have 1½ feet already out the door, they are probably not worth moving heaven and earth to please.

That said, we also suspect there are people who are complaining about the Democrats' "wokeness" and "being out of touch" who are really just using that to express fears and concerns that they have a difficult time putting their finger on. Specifically, we would guess that some of these folks are just feeling a general sense of malaise, and others are reacting to a rapidly changing world. In contrast to voters who are just looking for justification to switch parties, these voters are probably still available to Biden and his party.

So, what to do? Well, our first answer is going to show up more than once in this series: Fix the problems that are fixable. If the administration can make serious progress in taming the pandemic, and maybe getting the problematic aspects of the economy (e.g., inflation) under control, and address some other concrete problems, it is likely that some of the complaints about more abstract stuff will fade away.

Further, Biden needs to take the lunch pail and the work boots on the road and figure out a way to connect with people. Donald Trump was able to do it, so it can't be that hard. Bill Clinton was a master at it; he should be invited to the White House to give the President lessons in how to convince the voters that he feels their pain. To the credit of Biden as a political strategist, he clearly recognizes that he needs to do this, which is why he was in Pittsburgh this weekend.

There is also something to be said for...wait for it...more swearing. Part of the secret of Trump's success was that his supporters felt they were getting the authentic article, and not someone who put up a dignified presidential veneer. There are certainly some politicians who can pull off the "regal" bit, like Barack Obama or the Queen of England. But "regular guy" is much more Biden's style, and anything he can do to make himself seem like someone voters would want to have a beer with, the better. Unguarded moments, like the "stupid son of a bitch" remark, help a lot. John F. Harris, writing for Politico, had a piece arguing much the same thing this weekend.

And finally, as Biden is traveling around, and perhaps being folksy, it would be very helpful if he had a version of the Build Back Better bill passed, to use as concrete evidence that he's working on people's problems. Frankly—and he won't do this, though he really ought to think about it—the name "Build Back Better" is kind of damaged goods right now. What if the name was changed to the Manchin Jobs and Progress Act, or something like that? That would serve the triple-purpose of flattering the West Virginia senator, changing the branding, and highlighting the things that are being done for regular people.

We will pick this up again tomorrow, taking a look at Biden's environmental record. (Z)

The Walls Are Closing In

We wrote yesterday that Donald Trump's careless words at his rallies, particularly as regards promises of pardons for 1/6 participants, as well as encouraging his supporters to take to the streets if he is prosecuted, are not helping improve his legal position.

And even before Trump ran his mouth in Texas, there were a slew of pieces observing that he and his inner circle are in heaps of trouble, and that their bag of legal tricks is reaching the point of exhaustion (see here, here, and here for examples). A brief overview:

  • The 1/6 Committee might not have all the witness testimony it wants, but it has a lot. It also has the records that it wants from the Trump White House, since the former president managed to lose that challenge at breakneck speed at each level of the federal judiciary. Trump lawyer John Eastman's papers will soon follow, once they are reviewed by lawyers to exclude privileged documents. When the Committee releases its report, it's going to make the reports about Boris Johnson (see below) seem like child's play.

  • The fact that Trump lost his case to keep his documents hidden almost certainly means that any 1/6 witness currently hiding behind executive privilege—Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, etc.—is going to be told that their argument holds no water. Some of these folks are trying to protect Trump, but some of them are trying to protect themselves. And if they have to choose from among: (1) go to prison for contempt, (2) go to prison for crimes committed or (3) flip on Trump and save my skin, at least some of them are going to choose #3. It's true that the 1/6 Committee can't prosecute crimes, but the Department of Justice sure can, and the DoJ is going to take the baton from the Committee once the Committee has finished its work.

  • Rudy Giuliani is a particular risk to flip, either in terms of the 1/6 investigations or the situation in Georgia or both. He's badly exposed, has a huge ego, has been ill-treated by Trump in the last year, and is 77 years old. Even a relatively short prison sentence could be a life sentence for him.

  • Giuliani is also in deep financial trouble, and is at risk of a huge civil penalty in the lawsuits filed by Dominion Voting Systems and SmartMatic. Just this week, Dominion's lawyers confirmed what everyone already knew, namely that there is zero possibility of a settlement. The only way Dominion can be made whole is to shred Giuliani (and Sidney Powell) in court, and then to be awarded a huge financial settlement. Even if the company gets no money out of it, this will serve as strong evidence that Giuliani and Powell were full of it.

  • The case against Trump (and Giuliani, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC) in Georgia is heating up, with Fulton County DA Fani Willis asking for, and getting, a special grand jury to further investigate the matter. Graham is another candidate to flip; he cares only about his own skin, and his "loyalty" to Trump is purely transactional. That grand jury will begin work on May 2.

  • The case against Trump (and his kids) in New York is also heating up, with New York AG Letitia James getting closer and closer to the (rotten?) core of the apple. Newly installed Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has put in place a new leadership team for the investigation, and is allocating additional resources. There's also a grand jury (the second one empaneled for this purpose) that is looking carefully at this matter. These things are not signs of a situation that is about to wind down, or that ends with a few minor charges being lodged against a few second-tier members of the Trump Organization. Oh, and now-former CFO Allen Weisselberg is scheduled to go on trial to face criminal charges before the end of the year. That makes him yet another candidate to flip on Trump.

  • Later this month (Feb. 17), there will be a federal court hearing into the question of whether or not the Trump inaugural committee broke the law. Part of the complaint was already dismissed, but the other part was allowed to stand, suggesting that the matter will move forward and discovery will commence. If so, it will be yet another item on Trump's legal plate.

This list is far from exhaustive, mind you. We did not include cases focused exclusively on people in Trump's orbit but not Trump himself, such as the investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), or the Florida case in which Roger Stone is accused of $2 million in tax evasion. We also did not include purely civil cases against Trump, such as the protesters who sued the Trump Organization for roughing them up, the folks who sued Trump for fraud thanks to his endorsement of the ACN Videophone, and E. Jean Carroll's defamation suit. All of these are scheduled to go to trial this year. Finally, we did not include things that are theoretical, but there is currently no publicly known action, like potential obstruction of justice charges.

In some of these cases, Trump may delay, or obfuscate, or even beat the rap. But the odds of him doing so in all of them are very low. He's been too careless, and he's made himself too big a target. It was one thing when he was a third-tier New York real estate developer who was known primarily for the over-the-top persona he showed off during appearances on Howard Stern's and David Letterman's shows, and later on The Apprentice. But now he is widely reviled, is a dangerous man, and presents an opportunity to score political points. Any one of these three things could persuade a prosecutor to do everything in their power to bring him down.

Perhaps the best evidence that the walls are closing in comes from Trump himself. He is like a wild animal—he gets most aggressive when he senses he's cornered. Recall what he said at his rally this weekend: "If these radical, vicious racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had ... in Washington, D.C, in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere because our country and our elections are corrupt." That is basically an exhortation from Trump to his followers to pull a 1/6 on James, or Willis, or any of the others who are pursuing him.

We've seen this game plan before—try to manipulate the system, and then, if all else fails, unleash the base. That's what gave us the original 1/6. Certainly, Willis interpreted things in that way. After the former president's remarks this weekend, she asked the FBI for help with security, as she says already-existing concerns for her safety and that of her staff were "exacerbated" after Trump's rally.

Anyhow, as things heat up, the legal woes of Trump and his acolytes could end up being the biggest political story of 2022, even more so than Build Back Better, or election reform, or the pandemic. (Z)

Sorry, Mike Pence

Former vice president Mike Pence continues to entertain the notion that he's a viable 2024 presidential candidate. He's kept his head down, and has done the sorts of things that a would-be Republican presidential candidate generally needs to do—appearing at the endless procession of conservative political conferences, brown-nosing donors, and the like. But Pence is living in a fantasy world, as events of the last few days have made clear.

The fundamental problem is that Pence has no lane in which to run. Democrats really, really dislike him. That is mostly a general election problem, but independents feel much the same way, which is definitely a problem for the primaries. Pence is distrusted by mainstream Republicans because he spent 4 years as Donald Trump's fawning lackey, and he is loathed by the Trumpers because he didn't overturn the 2020 election. Among those Trumpers are the large majority of evangelicals, who are Pence's natural constituency.

This week, Pence appeared on Fox to talk with their newest star, Jesse Watters. And the former VP conceded that while he and Trump parted on amicable terms, they haven't spoken since last summer. The "amicable" part is dubious, or else wishful thinking, we would say, given how fiery Trump's anti-Pence rhetoric has been since Jan. 6, 2021. In any event, the former president made clear his current feelings in a statement released after Pence's interview:

If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had "absolutely no right" to change the Presidential Election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election? Actually, what they are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn't exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!

It's a nominally persuasive argument; one wonders who it is that fed it to Trump. Note that it's not actually persuasive, though. We assume that at least a few times in his business career, it was necessary to attach an addendum to a contract because something about the original terms needed to be clarified. Someone should explain to him that this is the same thing.

In any event, Pence was, is, and will continue to be a bugaboo in Trump's mind. And the thought of Pence becoming president is simply intolerable to The Donald. So, if the former VP were to emerge as even a semi-serious candidate, he would be subject to an unrelenting campaign of abuse and invective courtesy of his two-time ticket-mate. And even if Trump is in prison, he'll still command the loyalty of some percentage of the base. The current Republican playbook, and the one that Pence would have to run, depends on getting nearly every available Republican and independent vote, and then relying on the Electoral College to do the rest. If the VP loses even 10% of the MAGA crowd, the math cannot work. And Pence is going to lose far more than 10% when and if he gets the full-blown Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) treatment. (Z)

Sorry, Boris Johnson

Mike Pence is not the only politician who was flying high a couple of years ago, but is now in the process of crashing to earth. As readers know, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his underlings flouted the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on Britons... by Boris Johnson and his underlings. There were at least 16 parties held at 10 Downing Street that ran afoul of the rules, and the PM was present for at least a couple of them. Not helping things from an optics standpoint is that even the Queen honored the restrictions, including when mourning her husband's passing.

Partygate, as it is now known, prompted at least two investigations, one from professional civil servant Sue Gray, and a second from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). Gray's report dropped yesterday, and while she specifically noted that she was constrained so as to avoid interference with the MPS investigation, it was still quite devastating for Johnson. Gray excoriated him for "failures of leadership," and wrote that all but four of the parties were serious enough violations to warrant a close look from MPS.

After the report was released, Johnson had the pleasure of toddling over to the Palace of Westminster to face the music. He took a thrashing from several members, including his former boss and current nemesis Teresa May. She declared:

The Covid regulations impose significant restrictions on the freedoms of members of the public. They had a right to expect their prime minister to have read the rules, to understand the meaning of the rules and indeed those around him to have done so too and to set an example in following those rules. What the Gray report does show, is that Number 10 Downing Street was not observing the regulations they had imposed on members of the public. So either my right honorable friend had not read the rules or didn't understand what they meant and others around him, or they didn't think the rules applied to Number 10. Which was it?

By British standards, that's a volcanic eruption. And you thought it was only in the U.S. where former national leaders publicly lambaste their successors.

Anyhow, the heat is thus still on Johnson, and it's not going to get better when the MPS report is complete. The British system and American systems of national law enforcement don't really correspond to one another very well, but in this context the MPS is somewhat comparable to the U.S. Department of Justice. In any event, our British readers have suggested the PM won't survive this scandal, and we're certainly not seeing anything that makes us question that conclusion. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jan31 Biden Gets Lemons in Pittsburgh, Makes Lemonade
Jan31 Pennsylvania Senate Race Is Up for Grabs...
Jan31 ...And So Is the Ohio Senate Race
Jan31 Why Do They Say These Things?
Jan31 Why Does He Say These Things?
Jan31 Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Absentee Ballot Law
Jan31 Socialists Win Big in Portugal
Jan30 Sunday Mailbag
Jan29 Saturday Q&A
Jan28 The Day After
Jan28 BBB Was Only Mostly Dead, It Would Seem
Jan28 Sinema's Sinking
Jan28 Biden: The Least Bad Option?
Jan28 Maybe Trump Has Finally Hit His Floor
Jan28 This Week in Schadenfreude
Jan28 Looking Forward: The Readers Predict 2022, Part VI: Congress, the Legislation
Jan27 Breyer to Disrobe
Jan27 The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away
Jan27 Those Texans Sure Are... Inventive
Jan27 Barns Will Burn in Georgia
Jan27 A Useless Idiot?
Jan27 Looking Backward: How Did The Readers Do?, Part VI: Congress, the Legislation
Jan26 Looking Under Rocks for White Grievance
Jan26 The Filibuster May Linger a While Longer, but It's on Life Support
Jan26 Pelosi Is In...
Jan26 ...While Cuellar Has Trouble...
Jan26 ...And Cooper Is Out
Jan26 The Slow-Moving Coup, Part VI: The Good News, Vol. II--The Republicans
Jan25 The Slow-Moving Coup, Part V: The Good News, Vol. I--Time
Jan25 Biden's Trajectory, Part II
Jan25 Biden Has a Reagan Moment
Jan25 It's Still Donald Trump's Party...
Jan25 ...And It's Getting More Authoritarian by the Day
Jan25 Supreme Court to Hear Affirmative Action Case
Jan24 January 6 Was Just the Beginning
Jan24 Blinken: We're Ready No Matter What Russia Does
Jan24 Thompson: We Will Share Information with the Dept. of Justice
Jan24 Arizona Democratic Party Censures Sinema
Jan24 Cheney Is Crushed in Straw Poll
Jan24 Large Majority of Americans Think the Country is Headed in the Wrong Direction
Jan24 Thirty States Have AG Races This Year
Jan24 Biden Makes a Nomination to the Federal Election Commission
Jan24 Ann Coulter Wants a Trump-DeSantis Cage Match
Jan24 Politico Turns 15
Jan23 Sunday Mailbag
Jan22 Saturday Q&A
Jan21 Rudy Giuliani Is in Trouble...
Jan21 ...Of Course, So Is Donald Trump...
Jan21 ...And Maybe Rep. Henry Cuellar, While We're at It
Jan21 This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things