Biden 303
image description
Trump 235
image description
Click for Senate
Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description
  • Strongly Dem (208)
  • Likely Dem (18)
  • Barely Dem (77)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (46)
  • Likely GOP (63)
  • Strongly GOP (126)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2019 2015 2011
New polls: (None)
the Dem pickups vs. 2020: (None)
GOP pickups vs. 2020: (None)
Political Wire logo Biden Slams Corporations for High Prices
Republicans Shrug Off Trump’s Bid to Scrap Obamacare
Governor Arranged Trump’s Walk Across Field
Maria Bartiromo Says Biden Is ‘Being Directed’ by Obama
Extra Bonus Quote of the Day
Trump Won’t Name His Experts in Hush Money Case

Will Abortion Save the Democrats in 2024?

In 2004, Bush's Brain, Karl Rove, managed to get ballot initiatives banning same-sex marriage approved in many states. Some people credit the initiative in boosting turnout in Ohio in 2004 and thus getting Bush over the top. However, at least one other study suggests that turnout in states with ballot initiatives was not higher than in states without them.

Will ballot measures on abortion goose Democratic turnout in 2024? It is not clear. However, one difference with 2004 is that the same-sex initiatives were intended to get older white voters to the polls. These are voters who don't really need much encouragement to vote. They do it pretty reliably on their own. The abortion measures are aimed at young voters and voters of color, neither of which have such strong track records on turnout. Consequently, abortion measures might actually help the Democrats.

The recent Virginia elections may shed some light on whether abortion helps Democrats. In a suburban Richmond district with a Republican incumbent who promoted a 15-week ban, the Democrat attacked him as an extremist and won. In a suburban district in Loudoun County, a Democrat who flogged abortion knocked off a Republican incumbent who didn't discuss it at all. The message might be that if Democrats hit hard on abortion, it can not only sink Republicans who want to ban it, but even those who are scared to talk about it.

Pro-choice groups are currently trying to get abortion measures on the 2024 ballot in five states, as follows.

  • Arizona: A proposed constitutional amendment would protect the right to an abortion up to the moment of fetal viability. That deadline is different from 24 weeks and could change as medical technology improves. The measure also bars the legislature from punishing anyone for aiding an abortion. To get on the ballot, it will need to collect 383,923 valid signatures before July 3, 2024. The groups are hard at work on that now. Arizona will be a key battleground for the presidential race and the Senate race and even a small increase in Democratic turnout could matter.

  • Florida: The Sunshine State became an abortion battleground after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signed a 6-week abortion ban. Right now, the ban is on hold while the state Supreme Court examines the law. Nevertheless, pro-choice groups are working hard to get a measure guaranteeing the right to an abortion on the ballot just in case. The groups already have 402,082 valid signatures, but need to get a total of 891,523 by Feb. 1, 2024.

  • Missouri: Current Missouri law bans all abortions except in medical emergencies. Two groups are trying to get measures amending the state Constitution on the ballot. One group, Missourians for Constitutional Freedom, filed 11 different amendments. They vary in language but all included the phrase: "the government shall not deny or infringe upon a person's fundamental right to reproductive freedom." Another group, the Missouri Women and Family Research Fund, has also submitted multiple amendments. Now the two groups need to get 171,000 valid signatures to get something on the ballot. By having multiple amendments, they are hoping to increase the chances of getting enough signatures. SoS Jay Ashcroft (R) has written extremely negative summaries for some of them, including saying they allow "dangerous, unregulated, and unrestricted abortions, from conception to live birth, without requiring a medical license or potentially being subject to medical malpractice." Courts have shot Ashcroft down a couple of times, but he is clearly trying to make it as hard as possible for them to qualify.

  • Nevada: Current law in Nevada protects abortions through 24 weeks and in some cases afterwards. Pro-choice groups want to get protection in the Constitution and have proposed an amendment reading: "Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which entails the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including, without limitation, prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, birth control, vasectomy, tubal ligation, abortion, abortion care, management of a miscarriage and infertility care." That certainly covers a lot of territory. That might not have been a good idea. A judge shot it down because the Constitution says that amendments must cover only one topic (and we count 10 in the proposed amendment). The pro-choice group can try again with a couple of amendments and make sure each one deals with only one topic.

  • South Dakota: Yeah, South Dakota. But remember, amendments passed in Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio. A pro-choice group is working on an amendment that says during the first trimester of pregnancy, the legislature may not regulate abortion at all and in the second trimester may regulate it only to protect the health of the pregnant woman. The group has until May 7, 2024, to get 35,017 valid signatures.

At this point we don't know if any amendments will make the ballot, but experience from other states shows that if there is enough funding, some of them are likely to make it. (V)

Could A Big Mac Sink Biden?

There is little doubt that a Big Mac could end Donald Trump's campaign—by being the last straw in years of an unhealthy diet. But Biden? Maybe, but in a different way. A story circulating on social media is from a man named Topher Olive who went into a McDonalds in Post Falls, ID, and ordered a special limited edition smoky double quarter pounder with fries and a Sprite. The meal cost $16.10 and he posted the receipt to TikTok. The story went viral, with many reposts all over social media. Few, if any, of the postings noted that the hamburger was a very special limited edition novelty item and that a normal Big Mac averages $5.58 around the country.

Olive's clear intent was to show that inflation is running rampant and it is Joe Biden's fault. In fact, it just shows that one specialty item in one store in Idaho 11 months ago was very expensive (although a hamburger that size with fries and a drink in a different restaurant might well have been a similar price). But Democratic officials don't know what to do. Should they have the president go buy a Big Mac in D.C. and post the receipt to show the actual price? If he did, the story might become "Why is McDonalds discriminating against people in red states?"

But the incident shows that it is very hard to demonstrate that inflation is now down to 3%—which is historically fairly low—when people simply compare the 2019 price of some item they buy often with the current price. In fact, even if the inflation rate hit 0% now, the current price of almost everything is higher than it was in 2019. A lot of people don't even understand what the inflation rate is (it is the first derivative with respect to time of the price function that is, dp/dt; where p(t) is the price of something over time).

Democratic strategists don't agree on how to handle inflation. Some want to stop touting Biden's accomplishments and start hitting the Republicans' plans. Others want to blame greedy corporations for price increases.

One thing that is clear is that social media is painting a much bleaker picture of the economy than what exists in the real world. One TikTok video that has received 2.3 million views claims there is a silent depression. Another with 2.1 million views says that people now have the lowest purchasing power in American history. Back on Planet Reality, disposable income per capita adjusted for inflation is now 5x as big as it was in 1930. Of course, when someone claims George Washington bought his first iPhone for $14.95 plus tax, how do you refute that? TikTok is chock full of lies and false information about the economy.

Biden could make a video for TikTok with graphs showing purchasing power over time, but a lot of people never understood graphs in 7th grade and certainly don't now. Besides, he would then be compared to Ross Perot. One thing he can do (and is doing) is work with TikTok content creators to show how their business or situation is doing great, better than ever. If he could get 100 top content creators to make clever videos showing that the economy is definitely working for them, that could perhaps influence public opinion, especially among the young people who dominate TikTok.

But it will be tough. Zaid Admani, a content creator with nearly 400,000 followers, posts about finance and economics. He noted that young people are increasingly learning about economics from TikTok and that is why they have a negative view of the country's economic outlook. He said: "People feel a sense of dread." Biden will have to deal with that, like it or not. (V)

Are Democrats Freaking Out over the Wrong Thing?

A lot of Democrats are freaking out over a Siena College poll showing Donald Trump winning five of the six most important swing states. Other polls show Biden with his lowest approval rating of his presidency and some show only a quarter of the voters wanting him to run for reelection.

Mileah Kromer, the director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics, which runs the respected Goucher College Poll, says the Democrats are setting their hair on fire over the wrong thing (the Siena poll). Many people think the country is in a recession, even though recessions normally result in unemployment and unemployment now is at a historic low. She thinks they should focus on the economy. In one poll, Trump did better on the economy than Joe Biden by 22 points.

One thing Kromer notes is that in 2015, then-Maryland-governor Larry Hogan (R) lowered the toll on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. People saw a cost go down and they loved it. Democrats derided it as short-term thinking that would hurt the state budget and create maintenance problems on the bridge later on. But the voters loved it. Focus groups years later asked people why they liked Hogan and the most common answer was: "He cut tolls." Democrats hate to do things that they know are unsustainable and will cause problems down the road, but what should they do when the voters love them?

Sometimes Democrats are into tricks as well. In 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) used an auto insurance bill to issue a $400 refund per vehicle to every insured Michigan driver. It was very popular, even if it wasn't economically wise. Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) froze vehicle property taxes. Giving people free money is always a political winner in the short term. Cutting taxes is also a winner, except that cutting the services the taxes pay for is never a winner and cutting taxes and not cutting services drives inflation, which is also not a winner. What the voters really want is a free lunch.

But the lesson from Hogan, Whitmer, and Beshear may be that cutting or freezing very visible costs and possibly increasing less visible costs to make up for it might work. But Democrats tend to see that as trying to trick the voters, something they don't really like to do. One thing that they could do next time they get the trifecta is lower taxes for people making under, say, $400,000 and increase taxes above that to compensate (or even bring in more). (V)

The Second Time Is Not Usually the Charm

Maybe the third time is a charm, but the second isn't. As every schoolchild knows, Stephen Grover Cleveland was elected president, lost reelection, but then came back to win the next time. But he was the only one to do that. So how common is it for an election loser to win a rematch? We don't have a lot of data from recent presidential elections (because there aren't a lot of presidential elections every year), but there is quite a bit of data from Senate and gubernatorial elections. It is not encouraging for Donald Trump. In 25 Senate rematches since 1950, the loser lost again 23 times. For gubernatorial races, it was somewhat better for the loser: In 30 out of 44 rematches, the loser the first time lost again the second time. That's a total of 16 rematch wins in 69 tries, or a 23% success rate.

In 2022, there were two gubernatorial rematches. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont (D-CT) faced Bob Stefanowski (R) again. In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) faced Stacey Abrams (D) again. Both elections went the same way the second time as the first time. On the other hand, in 1980, then-governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton lost to Republican Frank White. But 2 years later, Clinton defeated then-incumbent White. So it does happen.

One reason for it being tough to win a rematch is that by definition, the challenger is running against an incumbent, and being an incumbent is valuable. You are better known and can use the powers of the office to do things the voters like. Of course, every election is different. Biden has an extremely low approval rating and Trump might be a convicted felon by Election Day next year.

If you want to go back to the beginning of the Republic, there are more data as follows:

  • John Adams beat Thomas Jefferson in 1796, but Jefferson beat Adams in 1800.
  • John Quincy Adams (sorta) beat Andrew Jackson in 1824, but Jackson beat Adams in 1828.
  • Martin Van Buren beat William Henry Harrison in 1836, but Harrison beat Van Buren in 1840.
  • In 1888 Benjamin Harrison beat Cleveland, but in 1892 Cleveland came back to beat Harrison.
  • William McKinley beat William Jennings Bryan in 1896 and then beat him again in 1900.
  • FDR/Harry Truman beat Thomas Dewey in 1944 and then Truman beat him again in 1948.
  • Dwight Eisenhower beat Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and beat him again in 1956.

But the only one of these in which a sitting president faced a former president was 1892, when Cleveland got his old job back. (V)

States Want to Count the Votes Faster in 2024

One of the (many) problems with the 2020 election was the slow vote counting. Specifically, many states required that absentee ballots be stored unopened until Election Day. The consequence was that in-person Election Day ballots, which skewed Republican (because Republicans like to vote in person on Election Day) were reported first. Thus initial reports on Election Night showed Republicans with big leads in many races. In the days after Election Day, the absentee ballots, which skewed Democratic, were reported and the Republican leads melted away and sometimes disappeared. This led many people to think Democrats were furiously making up fake votes after the election.

Officials in a number of states really want to prevent this from happening in 2024. One remedy is to allow preprocessing of absentee ballots before Election Day. This means verifying the signature on the envelope and if valid, removing the ballot from the envelope and putting it in a pile. On Election morning, the piles can be inserted into the vote-counting machines so the absentee ballots can all be counted by the afternoon. Michigan will allow preprocessing to begin a week before the election. Wisconsin may start the process one day before it. Officials had requested more time, but the legislature refused. Still, many ballots can be prepped the day before the election.

Some states have passed laws requiring the state to announce at midnight on Election Evening how many ballots have not yet been counted. Then the networks will be saying things like: "With 35% of the ballots counted, Smith is leading Jones [X]% to [Y]%." The reporter might even emphasize that with so many ballots still uncounted, it is far from over.

Although 40 states will allow some preprocessing of early ballots before Election Day, one state where the legislature refuses to budge is Pennsylvania. Why? Because Republicans don't want it.

No state issues an official tally on Election Night because every state allows overseas and military ballots to be counted if they are postmarked on or before Election Day and arrive within a certain number of days after Election Day. In a close election, a few thousand overseas and military ballots could determine the winner. An official tally is not possible until after that deadline has passed. In some states, such as Nevada, even domestic ballots mailed and postmarked on Election Day are valid. Obviously, ballots mailed on Election Day can't be preprocessed.

One change that election officials are expecting is that in 2024, many more people will vote in person before Election Day rather than by absentee ballot as they did during the pandemic. Votes cast early in person are usually counted in real time. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger expects that 65% of Georgia voters will vote early and in person in 2024, and all those votes will be tabulated before the polls open on Election Day.

Another change that some states are making is buying more machines and trying to hire more staff. This will help avoid situations in which thousands of people are still in line when the polls close. If people are still voting at 10 p.m., obviously their votes can't be reported at 10 p.m. All in all, officials are hoping for a smoother process than in 2020. (V)

Georgia Not on My Mind

Joe Biden won Georgia's presidential election in 2020 by... oh wait, if you are a faithful reader of this site, you know exactly how many votes Donald Trump would have needed to win. Just subtract 1 from that number. Both senators are Democrats, although in truth, their victories were largely due to having very weak opponents. The real test for the purpleness of Georgia will come when Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) tries to become Sen. Brian Kemp (R-GA) against Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) in 2026. Normally incumbents win unless the incumbent has done something terribly wrong. For example, in 2022 all 29 incumbent senators who ran for reelection won. In the 17 Senate elections from 1990 to 2022, the reelection rate for incumbent senators trying for another term was 90.4%. If Ossoff is reelected, only then can we conclude that Georgia is truly a purple state (although a really big win for Biden in 2024 would also be serious evidence).

Unfortunately for Georgia Democrats, it looks like the national party thinks Georgia is a done deal and isn't paying as much attention to it as it warrants, since it is not yet a truly purple state, like, say, Arizona or Wisconsin, where Democrats have won multiple statewide offices against serious and well-funded opponents (but also against some looney tunes ones). Local organizers in Georgia, like Cliff Albright, the executive director of the Black Voters Matter Fund, are worried that the DNC and other national groups and donors are putting too much emphasis on the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, rather than Georgia, where 31% of the electorate is Black.

Albright and some others are hearing that Georgia is not a first-tier target. Part of the reason might be that there is no important race for a state office there in 2024. In Arizona, by contrast, not only are the state's 11 electors up for grabs, but also a highly contested Senate seat that is winnable, but not without effort. In addition, in a blue wave, the Democrats could flip the legislature and grab the state trifecta. If you were vice chair of the DNC in charge of doling out money, wouldn't you rank Arizona above Georgia among the Sun Belt states? Also, all three of the competitive Rust Belt states have a hotly contested Senate race.

Additionally, although there is no Senate race in North Carolina in 2024, there is a winnable gubernatorial race for an open seat as well as the possibility of breaking the Republicans' supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature. So Georgia is the only swing state that isn't a twofer. In all the others, GOTV drives could yield not only electoral votes, but also important statewide and state legislative offices as well. So you can probably understand what Albright fears. Nevertheless, with only half a dozen swing states, the Democrats should probably not concede any of them. (V)

Could Dean Phillips Help Trump?

It is hard to figure out what Rep. Dean Phillips (DFL-MN) wants to achieve by challenging Joe Biden. He gave up a safe (D+8) House seat on a pointless quest to make the point that Biden is old. Pro tip, Dean: Everyone already knows. Phillips is going to antagonize enough Democrats, farmers, and laborers that a future run at some statewide office is now almost out of the question. Being good at selling gelato doesn't necessarily make you a brilliant politician.

Most likely, Phillips will be beaten by write-in candidate Joe Biden in New Hampshire and that will be the last time we hear about ol' Dean. Nevertheless, this ego trip of his could have real consequences. In New Hampshire, a plurality of voters are registered as independents (39%) and an independent can walk into a polling place and request either a Democratic or a Republican primary ballot. Absent Phillips, nearly all independents would have requested a Republican ballot and many of the double haters would have voted for Chris Christie or Nikki Haley. Now they have another choice: Asking for a Democratic ballot and voting for Phillips as a placeholder for "none of the above." So it is possible, even likely, that Phillips will make it impossible for Haley to defeat Donald Trump in New Hampshire, which will seal her doom. Without Phillips, she would have had a far better chance to beat Trump in the Granite State, which would have given her momentum going into the South Carolina primary. If she could win New Hampshire and South Carolina, she would suddenly have at least a small chance of pulling off some upset victories on Super Tuesday. Phillips' pointless stunt greatly reduces the chances of that happening and increases the chances of Trump winning the White House, something Phillips doesn't really want. Does he have a brain full of ice cream?

Before Phillips' announcement, a Monmouth University poll had Christie pulling 35% of independents and Haley pulling 31%. But if the Democratic race heats up, some Trump-hating independents are going to ask for a Democratic ballot and write in Biden so as not to see him injured. Those votes will probably come out of Christie's or Haley's hide and thus will help Trump, something Phillips doesn't really want. Smart move, Dean. (V)

And Could the Fake Electors Hurt Trump?

While we are on the subject of otherwise minor factors that could become major factors, consider this: In four swing states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada—prosecutors are openly at work investigating, indicting, or prosecuting the 2020 fake electors. In several others, including Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, they are looking into their options.

So how does this affect Donald Trump? Well, three of the indicted fake electors in Georgia—Cathleen Latham, Shawn Still, and David Shafer—have argued in court filings that they acted "at the direction of" Donald Trump. They are apparently thinking that Trump-friendly jurors will vote to acquit them if the jurors come to believe the accused were merely following (Trump's) orders. The problem is that Special Counsel Jack Smith can subpoena them to appear in the insurrection trial in D.C. He needs to prove that Trump intentionally tried to overthrow the government and this kind of testimony could help his case.

The day after the 2020 election, Nevada fake elector Michael McDonald, who is also the chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, took part in a phone call with Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows and others. McDonald later wrote: "They want full attack mode." McDonald could clearly provide evidence that Trump knew exactly what he was doing, wanted a riot on Jan. 6, and had a well-thought-out plan to subvert the election. These are things Smith needs to prove.

Arizona is also going to be a problem. There Trump and Giuliani pushed then-House Speaker Rusty Bowers to support the fake-elector scheme but Bowers demanded proof that there was fraud first. Giuliani told him: "We've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence." Bowers heard this first hand and so might be called on as a witness in the D.C. trial.

In Michigan, the 16 fake electors have already been indicted for fraud. Will all of them volunteer to go to prison to save Trump or will some of them flip? Time will tell. The office of the attorney general of Pennsylvania declined to comment when asked if it was pursuing the state's fake electors. The Wisconsin AG's office was also mum when asked.

In any event, what we have here is something of a double whammy. The fake electors could help turn citizen Trump into convict Trump. Meanwhile, with stories about the scheme in the headlines, some swing-state voters could be motivated to vote against Trump, just because they don't like the thought of him trying to subvert their votes. (V)

"Santos" Says He expects to Be Expelled from the House

Rep. "George Santos" (R-NY) has now said: "I know I'm going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor." Of course, he doesn't really know whether two-thirds of the chamber will vote for his expulsion, but it is a safe bet that (almost) all the Democrats will vote for it. If 80 Republicans also vote him out, he's a goner. The main reason Republicans might vote to save his neck is not that they approve of what he did, but because if he is expelled, there will be a special election in his NY-03 district on Long Island, which is D+2, and which a Democrat would be favored to win. "Santos" has now been indicted on 23 criminal counts and the House Ethics Committee wrote a scathing report about him.

"Santos" could resign and avoid an embarrassing vote, but he won't. The reason he won't resign is that doing so would be tantamount to admitting that he is, in fact, guilty of the charges the Ethics Committee listed in its report. That could work against him in the upcoming criminal trial. So he is going to stonewall it. In fact, he called the chair of the Ethics Committee, Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS), a "pussy."

Whether Guest is or is not what "Santos" called him, the fact is that Guest entered a privileged resolution to expel "Santos" just before the Thanksgiving break. Tomorrow, he is expected to start the process to force a vote on it. The vote will come this week. By Friday, we'll know how it plays out.

"Santos" didn't help his case when he said he wasn't running for reelection because he didn't want to work with a bunch of hypocrites who are "more worried about getting drunk every night with the next lobbyist that they're going to screw and pretend like none of us know what's going on." Experts claim that saying stuff like this is not the best way to win friends and influence people (see Cawthorn, Madison).

Finally, "Santos" said: "If you want to expel me, I'll wear it like a badge of honor. I'll be the sixth expelled member of Congress." Take that, Congress! Not too many people are happy to join a club that includes three Confederate sympathizers and two people convicted of taking bribes, but "Santos" is a different kind of fellow, we suppose. (V)

Busing Migrants Has Gone Nationwide

When Ron DeSantis began flying undocumented immigrants from Texas to Massachusetts and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) began busing them from Texas all over the country, it was just a publicity stunt designed to get attention. Now it has become a big business, with states spending millions of dollars a year moving migrants around. The red states trying to get rid of the immigrants have two purposes. First, they are still trying to make a point. Second, they genuinely do not want the immigrants and are willing to pay real money to get rid of them. Texas is the leader in the "move the immigrants" contest. In the past 1½ years, it has spent $86 million in taxpayer money to "deport" 66,000 people to other states. Florida is in second place at $12 million. This despite the fact that the Sunshine State doesn't really have much of an immigrant problem because its only land boundaries are with Georgia and Alabama, neither of which border on any foreign countries. Yes, there is the ocean, but the number of immigrants reaching Florida by boat from the Bahamas (50 miles) or Cuba (100 miles) is fairly small.

In most cases, the recipient states are not prepared to process or house the migrants. They are starting to fight back. New York City, for example, now has a formal reticketing program to provide migrants with plane or bus tickets to some other state. The program has become so popular that the city set up a central site dedicated to the program. Arizona has spent almost $6 million moving 27,000 asylum seekers. Denver has spent $4 million getting rid of migrants. Nobody wants them. It is clear from the numbers that moving migrants around has become a very large-scale and serious matter.

In the red states, migrants are tricked onto the buses and planes with false promises that employers are begging for workers at their destination and they will have a job immediately upon arrival. These are simply lies and the migrants are pawns to be used to further the governors' political goals. In the blue states, the programs are voluntary and the migrants are asked where they would like to go. Many of them have friends and relatives in other states they would like to join. If Abbott shipped a group of people to Denver to stick it to the governor of Colorado, but the group has family in Chicago who can help them, Denver is happy to pay for their passage to Chicago. This is done to help the migrants, not to cause a political problem for some blue-state governor.

Paying for all this transportation is a big problem. Few states or cities on the receiving end of the immigrants have line items in the budget for reshipment of migrants they don't want and didn't expect. Joe Biden is begging Congress for funds for them, but Republicans in Congress are not interested. If Biden were to ask for funding to charter buses to Mexico City to send them there, Republicans might actually go for it. But he is not, for both political and humanitarian reasons. (V)

American Politics Has Become Really Gross

American politics has always been rough. On May 22, 1856, Rep. Preston Brooks (D) of South Carolina used a cane to beat abolitionist Sen. Charles Sumner (R) of Massachusetts on the floor of the Senate. Brooks came close to killing Sumner. This attack polarized the country over the issue of slavery even more than it already was, and moved the country closer to civil war.

While politics has always been rough, until recently, it wasn't also gross. Sumner gave a speech attacking a pro-slavery senator from South Carolina, Andrew Butler, saying: "[He] touches nothing which he does not disfigure with error, sometimes of principle, sometimes of fact. He cannot open his mouth, but out there flies a blunder." You have to admit that while Sumner hated Butler, at least he was fairly eloquent in denouncing him. Those days are gone.

Speech and conduct in Congress has gotten much more vulgar these days. For example:

  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has called the 5' 0" Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) "a little bitch."
  • Boebert was caught on a security camera groping her date at a play in Denver; Greene then called her a "whore."
  • Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) didn't like something Greene was doing and said it out loud, so she called him a "pussy."
  • Greene recently mocked the 80-year-old Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) as "cognitively diminished."
  • Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) called former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) "a jerk," "pathetic," and "a bully."
  • Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) challenged a witness to a fight and said: "I'll bite. And I don't care where I'll bite."

All this coarse behavior goes back to a single source, Donald Trump. Attacking your opponent verbally has always been fair game, but as Sumner demonstrated, it has generally been civil. No more. Among other things, Trump has said:

  • Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Mark Milley, should be executed for treason.
  • Shoplifters should fully expect to be shot.
  • Undocumented immigrants are "poisoning the blood of our country."
  • Communists, Marxists, fascists and radical left thugs live like vermin within the confines of this country.

Trump also promised to obliterate the deep state and prosecute Joe Biden and a long list of other people who have crossed him. He said: "Either they win or we win." With Trump as a role model, what did you expect? (V)

If you wish to contact us, please use one of these addresses. For the first two, please include your initials and city.

To download a poster about the site to hang up, please click here.

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov26 Sunday Mailbag
Nov25 Saturday Q&A
Nov24 Wheels Are Coming Off the DeSantis Campaign
Nov24 Florida Republicans Release Primary Ballot
Nov24 Trump Disdains Christians? You Don't Say...
Nov24 The Democratic Trump
Nov24 No Abortion Initiative in Nevada... for Now
Nov24 The Terrorist Attack That Wasn't
Nov24 The Land of the Free?
Nov24 This Week in Schadenfreude: The Brain Drain Is Underway
Nov24 This Week in Freudenfreude: Gobble, Gobble
Nov23 People's Exhibit 3054 Is Bad News for Trump
Nov23 Wisconsin Supreme Court Hears Gerrymandering Case
Nov23 Biden Loves Football
Nov23 Why Do People Say the Economy Sucks?
Nov23 Democrats Need to Prioritize Black Men
Nov23 Some of Trump's Former Aides Are Dismayed That No One Listens to Them
Nov23 Cornel West Is Targeting Michigan
Nov23 Republicans Are Promoting Sinema to Democrats in Arizona
Nov23 Democrats Are Actively Trying to Flip State Legislative Chambers
Nov23 Welcome to 2028
Nov23 Biden vs. LBJ
Nov23 There was a Dutch Parliamentary Election Yesterday
Nov22 Mike Johnson Has Some Decidedly Non-Mainstream Ideas
Nov22 Utahns Hold True to Form
Nov22 In-N-Out; That's What the U.S. House Is All About
Nov22 Maybe Hold off on Picking New Curtains, Gov. Gaetz
Nov22 Today in Dissembling: Peter Meijer
Nov22 Federal Judge Orders Improperly Dated Ballots to Be Counted in 2024
Nov22 Houston, We Have Voter Fraud
Nov21 The 2024 Calendar Is Beginning to Fill In
Nov21 Happy Birthday, Mr. President... Happy Birthday to You
Nov21 Reminder #472 about What Kind of Presidency Trump v2.0 Would Be
Nov21 Ron DeSantis Continues to Sink
Nov21 Ohio Republicans: If at First You Don't Succeed...
Nov21 Today in House Retirement News
Nov21 Argentina Goes with a Right-Wing Populist
Nov20 Haley Is Starting to Pick Up Scott's Donors
Nov20 Colorado Judge Refuses to Kick Insurrectionist Trump Off the Ballot
Nov20 Senators May Soon Change Senate Procedures to Approve Military Promotions
Nov20 Biden Advisers Don't Think Manchin Will Run for President
Nov20 Aileen Cannon Is Trying to Delay Mar-a-Lago Trial Until after the Election...
Nov20 ...However, Fani Willis Wants to Start on Aug. 5
Nov20 The Maryland Senate Race: a Young Black Woman vs. an Old White Man
Nov20 A Michigan Democrat in a Swing District Will Retire in Jan. 2025
Nov20 AZ-08 Open-Seat House Race Has a Strange Mix of Candidates
Nov20 Many Companies Suspend Advertising on X (Twitter)
Nov20 Rosalynn Carter Has Passed Away
Nov17 Ethics Report: "Santos" Is a Criminal
Nov17 Univision Becomes MAGAvision