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Political Wire logo Trump’s Case Puts the Justice System on Trial
A Rebuttal to the Whataboutism
A Split Screen of Campaign and Criminal Trials
Trump’s Rivals Are Still Terrified of Criticizing Him
Trump Indictment Thrusts Biden Into Uncharted Territory
Trump Indictments Are a New Beginning

TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Re-Indicted
      •  Paxton Associate Arrested
      •  Anti-McCarthy Rebellion Continues
      •  SCOTUS Strikes Down Racial Gerrymander in Alabama
      •  Pat Robertson Is Dead
      •  This Week in Schadenfreude: And It Feels So Good
      •  This Week in Freudenfreude: The Sultan of Slowjamastan


Feel free to read/sing that headline in the style of Peaches & Herb. As you have undoubtedly heard by now, Donald Trump was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury. He was already the first president to be criminally indicted, and now he's the first president to be criminally indicted by the U.S. government. The way things are going, in the search for historic descriptors, we're eventually going to have to move on to "the first president to be criminally indicted on a Tuesday afternoon while the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter is aligned with Mars."

As expected, the indictment was filed in Florida. A Washington, DC, court would be better equipped to handle this sort of case (as Washington judges often deal with intelligence-related cases), and would also be much less likely to attract a MAGA juror who simply will not vote to convict. However, the feds had to think strategically, and there's a stronger argument for filing in Florida, since that is where the crimes took place (or largely took place). If AG Merrick Garland & Co. had chosen Washington, there is a non-zero chance that would have been grounds to vacate any verdict that might have resulted.

The indictment has not been made public yet, and won't be until Trump appears in court, which is going to happen on Tuesday afternoon. That said, there are enough enterprising and well-connected journalists out there that the general outlines of the indictment are now known. Trump is being charged with seven different crimes, including willfully retaining national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and making false statements to federal authorities. There could be multiple counts associated with each charge, so the total number of counts against the former president may be seven, but it may be (and probably is) more.

There's no way around it; Trump is in very hot water here. Just the facts about the case that are publicly known are very damning. Indeed, if not for the indictment news, we were ready to run an item about a former White House official who testified before the grand jury (and may well have been the final pre-indictment witness, as it turns out), and who said that Trump knew full well what the procedure is for declassifying documents. In other words, the former president's best defense is riddled full of holes (though even if he really thought the documents were declassified, that's no excuse for refusing to return them when NARA came calling). Making things worse, from the vantage point of Trump's legal team, is that they cannot plausibly allow him to testify. He'd be skinned alive by a veteran federal prosecutor. And on top of that is the general truth that when the feds bring charges against someone, they prevail the vast majority of the time (≈95%).

Presumably, the thing upon which Team Trump will pin its hopes is the possibility of seating a rogue MAGA juror who just won't vote to convict. This is not much of a ray of hope for them, however. To start, as we've noted multiple times, the lawyers who will conduct the voir dire are very good at rooting out rogue jurors. On top of that, cases involving Trump and/or those in his orbit have been heard by juries with a MAGA or MAGA-adjacent member, and those folks have been unwilling to ignore the evidence when it was presented to them in black and white.

Trump knows he's in deep trouble (five poop emojis, for sure). You can tell, because the deeper the hole, the louder and more incoherent his rage. Here's the message he posted after the news was broken to him by one of his lawyers:

The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax, even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware, additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., With even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is "secured" by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time.

I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM. I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, who received far more votes than any sitting President in the History of our Country, and is currently leading, by far, all Candidates, both Democrat and Republican, in Polls of the 2024 Presidential Election. I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!

This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America. We are a Country in serious and rapid Decline, but together we will Make America Great Again!

We would guess that he really believes most of these things. For example, he really thinks that Joe Biden did the same thing, except 100x worse. And he really believes that the number of votes he got is somehow relevant to the question of guilt or innocence. Trump believes these things because he needs to believe these things. This is what lets him sleep at night.

The response from Republican politicians largely falls into two categories. The first of those is the multiple variants of "It's a conspiracy!" Consider this message that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) posted to Twitter when the news broke:

Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America.

It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him. Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades.

I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice. House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.

In contrast to the Trump "Truth," we don't think McCarthy believes one bit of this tweet. We don't think the Speaker is particularly unhappy about the possibility that Trump may be removed from the political stage. We don't think he actually believes that Biden was behind the indictment. We don't think he truly sees a grave injustice here. And we think he has no intention of holding anyone "accountable."

Some members of McCarthy's conference see a more specific conspiracy beyond just "Joe Biden has weaponized the Department of Justice." Yesterday was the day that select members of the House were allowed to see the FBI form they've been champing at the bit to see, the one that supposedly reveals gross corruption on the part of the President. The document was viewed in a sensitive compartmented information facility, and the members who saw it came out after and said: "Yep! It proves everything!" Their view, as expressed by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), among others, is that the indictments were timed so as to deflect attention from this very important piece of anti-Biden news.

This is, of course, lunacy. How many times, at this point, has a Stefanik or a Jim Jordan (R-OH) or a James Comer (R-KY) or a Matt Gaetz (R-FL) insisted that they had incontrovertible proof of Biden's guilt, without being able to actually provide said proof? Four? Five? Six? So, to buy into the conspiracy, you not only have to believe the DoJ is in the bag for Biden, but also that the department has been waiting with bated breath, until the opportunity comes to bury this minor news story. Here's a tip for the Freedom Caucusers and their ilk: You've cried wolf so many times that, until you come up with something concrete, nobody cares except for the True Believers.

In any case, as you look at the responses to the Trump indictment, you cannot help but notice that none of these Republicans is disputing the basic facts of the case, or even that laws were broken. One thinks of the old lawyer's aphorism, which we've noted many times: "When the law is on your side, pound the law. When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When neither the law or the facts are on your side, pound the table." There was so much table-pounding going on in Washington yesterday, you might have thought Stomp was performing a Thursday matinee.

The other response from Republican politicians, at least those who did not hide in a closet so as to avoid reporters entirely, was some variant of "no comment." For example, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be happy to be rid of Trump at the earliest possible moment. He may not be willing to say it out loud, since that would be impolitic, but he's also not going to join McCarthy in a round of "Poor Donald" kabuki theater. And so, when the Kentuckian was asked about the indictment by reporters, he replied: "I may have hit my head, but I didn't hit it that hard. Nice try." That's pretty slick, actually.

Interestingly, albeit not surprisingly, the man who figures to benefit most from the indictment—Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)—was in group one and not group two. Asked for comment, DeSantis said: "The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society. We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation. Why so zealous in pursuing Trump yet so passive about Hillary or Hunter?" We are not clear how you can successfully campaign against a rival by playing into his narrative of victimhood and martrydom, but we didn't graduate from two different Ivy League schools, so maybe it's beyond our capacity to grasp.

Incidentally, in the latest version of our Senate tracking poll, we asked how many days it would be until the Mar-a-Lago indictment came down. As soon as the news broke, we downloaded the results, to freeze them in time. To our surprise, out of well over 2,000 responses, there was not a single person who guessed Trump would not be indicted. The lowest guess, registered by 36 people, was "1 day." That was not far off, as it turns out. The correct guess, "2 days," was also the most common guess. There were over 200 respondents who hit the bullseye. The three highest guesses were 517, 530 and 533 days. Those weren't such good guesses, it would seem. The average guess was 41.5 days. Sometimes the wisdom of the crowds doesn't work out, though in fairness, it was hard to imagine that things would come together so fast. That said, over 200 people did imagine it.

Presumably, things will be in a holding pattern for a few days, until Trump's appearance in court on Tuesday. Well, unless you like reading along as someone rants and raves on Truth Social, that is. If that's your bag, then you are in for a really good weekend. (Z)

Paxton Associate Arrested

As long as we're on the subject of Republicans' legal woes, the FBI arrested Nate Paul yesterday. That name probably doesn't ring a bell, but he's the real estate developer and Republican donor that Texas AG Ken Paxton (R) tried to protect using his department's legal and financial resources. Although Paxton has been involved in various types of corruption for a decade (or more), it was the Paul situation that actually precipitated the AG's impeachment.

Not much else is known at this point, except that Paul faces at least one felony charge of some sort. Not to engage in wild speculation, but is there a possibility that the feds are coming for Paxton next? And that the Texas legislature knew it, and wanted to get out ahead of the situation, thus leading to an impeachment that came together at blazing speed? Guess we will find out relatively soon. (Z)

Anti-McCarthy Rebellion Continues

Kevin McCarthy has nowhere near the cat-herding skills of his immediate predecessor, by all indications. And while the Trump indictment has deflected a lot of attention from the problem (presumably to the Speaker's relief), his week has gone from bad to worse on the cat-herding front.

To start, the Freedom Caucus temper tantrum, which began earlier this week with the defeat of two measures related to gas-stove regulation, is still a going concern. The FCers are currently stopping any legislation from coming to the floor for a vote, which means that business in the House has ground to a halt. McCarthy says that expects things to return to normal on Monday. Exactly what the FC wants, and what exactly is going to persuade them to abandon their tantrum in the next 72 hours or so, was not made clear.

But at least McCarthy is doing OK with the centrists, right? Not so much, apparently. Some of them, particularly those who have to run for reelection in swingy districts, are getting tired of participating in show votes demanded by the right wingers, show votes that put the centrists in a bad position. At a meeting on Wednesday, for example, about a dozen centrists were being briefed on upcoming votes by members of McCarthy's leadership team. During the meeting, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) got aggravated by yet another abortion bill that has no chance of becoming law, and asked: "Why the hell are we doing this?" The meeting pretty much went downhill from there.

McCarthy really, really, really wanted to be Speaker and is not going to surrender his gavel easily. At the same time, the FCers are clearly not willing to vacate the chair at this point, or they would have already done so. So maybe the House Republican Conference can muddle through its dysfunction and can keep on, keepin' on. That said, stories like the ones above were the sort of stories being written in the month or so before then-Speaker John Boehner ended up stepping down. (Z)

SCOTUS Strikes Down Racial Gerrymander in Alabama

Most days, this would have been the lead item. But yesterday wasn't most days, and so this gets pushed down below the fold, metaphorically speaking. Anyhow, in a shocker of a decision, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Alabama congressional district maps are an illegal racial gerrymander and that the state has to go back to having two majority-Black districts, as it had before 2022, as opposed to the current total of one.

The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the three liberals forming the majority bloc. You can read the decision here, if you wish. While everyone agrees that racial gerrymanders are illegal, we are very confused about what exactly constitutes a racial gerrymander, since SCOTUS jurisprudence on the matter has been all over the place. It doesn't much matter if we are confused, of course, but we suspect actual federal judges tasked with implementing these rulings are not going to be much clearer than we are.

And it is a virtual certainty that some of those judges are going to have to try to figure it out, probably sooner rather than later. If the situation in Alabama was not acceptable, there are similar situations in Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas. In all of those cases, there are not as many majority-minority districts as the math says there should be. And in all of those cases, the shortage of majority-minority districts is working in favor of the Republicans. On top of that North Carolina and possibly Ohio are getting ready to redraw their maps in a manner that would likely conflict with yesterday's ruling, and this may stop them from doing it.

Add it all up, and the Democrats almost certainly picked up one seat yesterday, they may pick up several more eventually, and some seats the Party currently holds may unexpectedly be protected. There's a lot of time and potential legal wrangling between now and November 2024, but with such a closely divided House, it's not impossible that this decision lays the groundwork for the blue team to flip the lower chamber. (Z)

Pat Robertson Is Dead

Mahatma Gandhi is a pretty good exemplar of the Rule; he's one of those people (like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, etc.) who didn't actually say all the things he allegedly said. So, it's an open question whether Gandhi actually answered a question about Christianity thusly: "Oh, I don't reject Christ. I love Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ."

We are actually inclined to think that Gandhi did say that, and that it's just the more famous variant of the quote ("I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.") that's not quite correct. Either way, it would be hard to think of someone for whom that sentiment is more on the mark than "Christian" evangelist and sometime politician Pat Robertson, who died yesterday at the age of 93.

When a person dies, the obits often highlight the good and downplay the not-so-good. As we have made clear in the past (here, for example) we do not feel constrained by that convention. And so, we present readers with a (very) select list of the lowlights of Robertson's career:

  • He blamed the 9/11 attacks on feminists, LGBTQ Americans, abortion doctors and the ACLU.
  • He suggested the 2010 earthquake in Haiti was divine retribution for the slave rebellion of 1791.
  • He said that anyone who opposes Donald Trump is in rebellion against God's plan.
  • He declared that the Las Vegas shootings were due to the kneeling National Anthem protests.
  • He said Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for Roe v. Wade.
  • He encouraged the government to assassinate "leftist" leaders of foreign countries, such as Hugo Chávez.
  • He opined that tornadoes that hit Florida are meant to punish Disney for flying rainbow flags.
  • He wrote a book implying the Jews are secretly running the world.
  • He decreed that Planned Parenthood encourages adultery, bestiality, and lesbianism.
  • He labeled Hinduism as "demonic" and Islam as "Satanic."

If you can find anything on that list that is Christ-like, then you are a better theologian than we are. This is why we describe Robertson as a "Christian" than as a Christian. In 1 Corinthians, St. Paul observed that the most important qualities to embody, following Jesus' example, are "faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." We suppose that Robertson had faith, in an Old Testament sort of way, but he offered little in the way of hope, and he certainly didn't have much love for people who did not think exactly as he did. These sorts of nasty and bigoted statements were not exceptions to the rule for him, they were the rule.

In any case, when a person dies, that's an occasion to take stock of their lives and figure out what it all meant. From a political standpoint, Robertson is best known for his 1988 presidential campaign, where he leveraged the extensive donor list developed through his ministry to power himself to a surprise second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, claiming 25% of the vote, to 37% for first-place finisher Bob Dole and 19% for eventual nominee George H.W. Bush. Robertson then got trounced in New Hampshire, but nonetheless kept his campaign going long enough to win four states' Republican delegates before dropping out and endorsing Bush. If you can guess even two of the four states, you're a better political historian than we are; we'll put the list at the bottom of the page.

Ultimately, Robertson's presidential campaign is not all that significant, except to the extent that it's a byproduct of his true role in American political history. For various reasons, there were three pretty big developments in Republican politics in the 1970s and 1980s. The first of those was the emergence of a win-at-all-costs, the-Democrats-are-the-enemy political mentality. The second was the flowering of a right-wing propaganda machine on radio and on the then-developing medium of cable television. And the third was a marriage between Christian evangelicals of a fundamentalist bent and the GOP political establishment. If you wanted to create a statue that embodied these storylines, it would be on point to include Newt Gingrich as the embodiment of #1, Rush Limbaugh as the embodiment of #2 and Robertson as the embodiment of #3. Alternatively, if money is tight, you could just sculpt Robertson, because he covers all three bases quite nicely by himself.

And now, storytime. As most readers will know, the platform that Robertson created and used to communicate with the (evangelical Christian) world for more than half a century is The 700 Club. It was the flagship program of the also-Robertson-founded Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), which is currently a production company and was for many years a cable TV channel. Starting in the 1990s, the TV channel was repeatedly sold and re-branded, such that it was The Family Channel, then Fox Family Channel, then ABC Family Channel. It's now called Freeform, and is owned by Disney.

As part of the terms by which CBN (the cable channel) was sold, whatever company acquires ownership of the property is contractually bound to give part of its broadcast day over to The 700 Club. As you might imagine, the folks at Disney are not especially pleased to have part of their schedule locked up like this, so the muckety-mucks responsible for programming Freeform have tried to make things as unfriendly to Robertson's program as is possible. The show is parked late at night, and its lead in is generally not the sort of fare Robertson would have approved of, usually reruns of Family Guy or South Park (both of which feature copious amounts of rather ribald humor, including frequent skewering of organized religion).

For this reason, (Z) is actually quite familiar with the current content of The 700 Club, which is is now anchored by Robertson's son Gordon. See, (Z) puts on an amenable channel/program when starting work on the next day's blog posting, but then gets focused to the point that he does not find the time to change the channel. So, there have been many, many nights that several hours of watching ribald comedy (in the background) was followed by watching The 700 Club (in the background). And that has meant many utterances of: "Wow. Can you really say something that offensive on 21st century television?" Of course, if the network is contractually bound to carry your program, the answer is "yes." And the ultimate point of the story, and the conclusion of this item on Robertson, is that he may be gone, but you can be well assured that his brand of theocratic fascism will live on. (Z)

This Week in Schadenfreude: And It Feels So Good

If we had taken the first headline to its logical conclusion, this would have followed "Re-Indicted." That would not have been apropos for that item, but it does work for this one, we would say.

As you may have heard, there are quite a few people who do not like Donald Trump. This disdain may be rooted in any or all of the following:

  • His habit of stiffing small contractors and other business partners who lack the resources to fight back
  • His longstanding, not-so-casual, racism, starting with discriminating against tenants of color in the 1970s
  • His willingness to mock people based on gender, disability, physical appearance, etc.
  • His general disdain for the military, and for those who served with distinction, like John McCain
  • His braggadocio about pu**y grabbing
  • His actual, jury-affirmed pu**y grabbing
  • His constant lies
  • His not-co-casual grift
  • His unwillingness to put the good of anything or anyone ahead of himself, even once
  • His participation in an effort to overturn a presidential election

This is not an exhaustive list, of course, the point is just that Trump has earned a lot of enmity in his life. And so, it's no surprise that his second indictment (and counting) resulted in much celebration yesterday.

We actually had a different story all cued up for this space, but we felt we could not ignore the 800-pound-orangutan in the room, namely the tidal wave of schadenfreude that was released yesterday in the late afternoon. To that end, we present a baker's dozen worth of memes that were widely circulated on social media yesterday:

1. Sharknado:

A great white shark labeled
'DOJ' jumps from the ocean and ensnares the Trump airplane

2. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will love this one:

A pair of tiny handcuffs

3. Democratic schadenfreude, Part I:

It shows Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and 
Barack Obama talking to each other on the phone, gleefully celebrating Trump's indictment

4. Democratic schadenfreude, Part II:

It says 'raise your hands
if you've never been indicted' and shows photos of the Obamas, Clintons and Bidens waving from Air Force One, while 
Trump sits with his head in his hands

5. Democratic schadenfreude, Part III:

It shows 
Barack Obama talking to Trump, and says: 'A copy of my birth certificate is stapled to your indictment.'

6. This one has something of an Andy Warhol feel to it:

Trump cruicifed, but on a McDonald's sign

7. Gazing into the crystal ball:

A picture of a prison, 
with speech bubbles that say 'I need my lawyer, Rudy Giuliani,' 'I'm down here, Mr. President,' and 'Is that you,
dad?' The implication is that Trumps Sr. and Jr. and Giuliani have all been imprisoned

8. That kompromat isn't so valuable any more:

Vlad Putin crying

9. Now you know what a senator's press operation looks like:

Susan Collins spins a
Wheel-of-Fortune type wheel, and each space has a weasel word on it like 'concerned' or 'troubled'

10. Something to brag about:

It says: 'Trump
finally wins the popular vote... with a grand jury

11. This will soon be on t-shirts, if it's not already:

It's a parody of a Trump 
2024 placard, and says 'Trump 20-24 years'

12. Simple, but effective:

It says: 'Second indictment
already? But I still have my first indictment decorations up'

13. Ibid.:

Starting with the somewhat famous
picture of Jack Smith in his jurist's robes from The Hague, someone has Photoshopped a crown on his head and added the caption:
'Bring me the one with the orange face... he amuses me.

Not every reader of this site was pleased to hear about Trump's indictment, but probably 99.99% of you were. If you're in that 99.99%, this "This Week in Schadenfreude" entry is for you. (Z)

This Week in Freudenfreude: The Sultan of Slowjamastan

Today's posting has been pretty heavy, so we're going to conclude with something as light and fluffy as cotton candy. We give you Randy "R Dub!" Williams, who by night is a San Diego DJ, and by day is the Sultan of Slowjamastan.

Williams hobby, when he's not spinning records (well, these days, playing mp4s) is traveling the world. By the time the pandemic started, he'd made it to every nation recognized by the U.N. except for one (Turkmenistan, which he has since checked off the list). Disappointed that there were no new countries to visit, Williams decided to create his own. Thus was born the micronation of The Sovereign Nation of The People's Republic of Slowjamastan, which occupies a plot of land in the desert north of San Diego. Since he bought the land and founded the country, Williams thought it only fair that he should be named its sultan.

Slowjamastan is a dictatorship, except on those days that it's a republic. It has a plaque, a big road sign, and a (pay) telephone. The nation issues passports, prints currency (dubles) and has a national flag and anthem. Slowjamastan has already accepted 500 "citizens," who are forbidden from wearing Crocs, mumbling rap lyrics, or putting their feet on the dashboards of their cars. Another 4,500 people are on the waiting list for "citizenship." The Sultan's main policy goal, right now, is to open up an all-you-can-eat Mongolian BBQ restaurant in Slowjamastan. He would also like formal diplomatic recognition, but thus far his e-mails and Twitter DMs to Joe Biden have gone unanswered.

The whole "I'm creating my own country" shtick is actually an old bit, of course. Indeed, Williams was inspired by His Excellency President Kevin Baugh, who founded the Republic of Molossia in Nevada back in 2018. Other examples:

  • Liberland: Founded in 2015, on an unclaimed piece of land between Serbia and Croatia, as a self-proclaimed "Libertarian paradise." If it holds your interest, you can apply for citizenship here; you have to swear that you value private property, that you're not a communist/Nazi/other extremist, and that you have no criminal record.

  • Sealand: This is one of the most famous faux nations. It was established in 1967 on an abandoned World War II-era gun platform, located in international waters off the coast of England. The founder was a British army veteran named Paddy Roy Bates, who granted himself the title of "prince." Today it's ruled by his son, Prince Michael. Formally known as The Principality of Sealand, it has its own chapel, prison, national flag, stamps and passports. Should you ever want to have a noble tile, Sealand sells them here for a very reasonable price.

  • Aerican Empire: This one was founded by a 5-year-old Canadian. (Uh, oh.) It doesn't actually have any territory, though it one day aspires to have a reach equal to that of Star Trek's United Federation of Planets. The official motto of the Aerican Empire is "Mundi est ridiculum; Custodiunt illud quod modo," which is translated as "It's a silly old world; let's keep it that way."

  • Talossa: Founded in 1979 by then-14-year-old Robert Ben Madison, the nation's original territory was his bedroom in a Milwaukee home. Indeed, "Talossa" means "inside the house" in Finnish. It now claims territory across the state of Wisconsin. Unlike most micronations, Talossa has its own language.

  • Kingdom of North Sudan: There is a South Sudan, but no North Sudan. Virginia farmer Jeremiah Heaton decided to rectify that, laying claim to an unincorporated piece of land in Africa, primarily so he could make his daughter Emily a princess. Disney was going to make a movie about the whole thing (which would theoretically have made Emily Heaton the second Disney princess to be a real person, following Pocahontas). However, people on Twitter said that such a film would have colonialist overtones, and so the project appears to have been canceled.

Why is this item apropos for a politics-focused site? Well, to a greater or lesser extent, these various micronations are all examples of performance art, all of them making the point that national borders in particular, and the various other lines drawn between "tribes" in general, are arbitrary constructs that should not always be taken so seriously. Given thar tribalism may be the single biggest problem in American politics today, it's worth noting the efforts of someone who's trying to poke a small hole in that balloon.

Have a good weekend, all! Or, failing that, a better weekend than the people around Donald Trump are going to have. (Z)

The four states where Robertson won the GOP delegates are Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada. Obviously his strength was in states where delegates could be won on the strength of relatively few votes, either due to a small overall population or due to the use of a caucus system. That's a setup that works for a candidate with a small but devoted band of supporters.

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun08 Some Bad News and Some Good News for Trump Yesterday
Jun08 The Decapitator Speaks
Jun08 Pence Calls for New Leadership--for Example, His
Jun08 Doug Who? Is In
Jun08 Chris Licht Is Out at CNN
Jun08 Is DeSantis Making a Faustian Bargain with the Electorate?
Jun08 Candidates Use T-shirts to Qualify for Debate
Jun08 What Are the Easiest Paths for the Republicans to Win the Presidency in 2024?
Jun08 The Democrats House Plan Has Leaked Out
Jun08 What Might a New York Gerrymander Look Like?
Jun07 More Legal Trouble for Trump
Jun07 The Freedom Caucus Strikes Back
Jun07 LIV Golf, PGA Tour Merge
Jun07 What Mike Pence's Presidential "Lane" Looks Like
Jun07 "George Santos" Ordered to Reveal Bond Co-Signers
Jun07 Approval Ratings Are a Mystery, Worldwide (Part III)
Jun07 Maybe This Explains Biden's Approval Rating
Jun07 Tracking Poll, June 2023, Senate Edition
Jun06 The Presidential Field Looks to Be (Almost) Set
Jun06 DeSantis May Cede One of His Biggest Advantages over Trump...
Jun06 ...And DeSantis Has Another Big Problem in Comparison to Trump
Jun06 Anti-Drag Law Struck Down
Jun06 Churchgoers Are Losing Their Grip on the Republican Party
Jun06 Talking about Abortion, Part IX: P.S.' Story
Jun06 Tracking Poll, June 2023, Presidential Edition
Jun05 Biden Clinches the Deal
Jun05 Political Winners and Losers from the Debt Deal
Jun05 It's Cattle Call Time
Jun05 DeSantis' Fundraising Is from Rich Donors
Jun05 Trump and DeSantis Are Already Getting Nasty with Each Other
Jun05 Jack Smith's Grand Jury Will Meet Again This Week
Jun05 Willis Is Now Looking Beyond Georgia for Trump's Crimes
Jun05 RNC Issues Criteria for Making the Debate Stage
Jun05 Iowa Will Require Caucusgoers to Be Present in Person
Jun05 The Economy Is Roaring
Jun05 Both Parties Hope to Rebound in 2024
Jun05 How Can Biden Handle It If His Son Is Indicted?
Jun04 Sunday Mailbag
Jun03 Saturday Q&A
Jun02 Our Long National Nightmare Is (Almost) Over
Jun02 DeSantis Blows His Lid
Jun02 The Pride Goeth During the Fall
Jun02 California Republicans May Try Something Different
Jun02 Talking about Abortion, Part VIII: They Lived It
Jun02 This Week in Schadenfreude: Teach Your Children Well
Jun02 This Week in Freudenfreude: The Show Must Go On
Jun01 Debt-Ceiling Bill Advances
Jun01 What about That IRS Funding?
Jun01 DeSantis Hits the Trail
Jun01 Jack Smith Has Tape of Trump Discussing Classified Documents