2018 Election

The wages of injudicious insurgency

Featured image Last month, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell got together at the White House. According to reports, they discussed, among other things, Steve Bannon’s threat to back insurgent candidates in an effort to defeat numerous GOP Senators in primaries. I thought that, from McConnell’s perspective, convincing Trump not to support this effort was the primary purpose of the lunch. McConnell reminded Trump about past insurgent primary winners who went »

Moore accused of attempted rape

Featured image A woman named Beverly Young Nelson claims that Roy Moore tried to rape her in 1975, when she was 16 years old and working at a restaurant she says Moore patronized rather obsessively. Nelson said this during a press conference alongside celebrity attorney Gloria Allred. Nelson, who says she successfully fought Moore off but suffered injury to her neck in the process, has a picture from her high school yearbook »

The bedroom phone that wasn’t

Featured image When I read the Washington Post’s account of Roy Moore’s alleged sexual misdeeds towards Leigh Corfman, one detail rang particularly false. Corfman told the Post that she spoke with Moore on her phone in her bedroom. As one woman of my acquaintance who lived in the deep South during that era guaranteed, 14 year-old girls in Alabama didn’t have phones in their rooms back then. Corfman, it turns out, was »

The allegations against Roy Moore

Featured image The Washington Post’s story about Roy Moore persuades me that, when he was in his early 30s, he liked to date teenage girls. It does not persuade me that he engaged in inappropriate sexual touchings with the 14 year-old girl who claims he did. There are three main reasons why. First, the other teenagers the Post interviewed don’t allege inappropriate touchings. It seems likely that, if Moore inappropriately touched one »

Virginia post mortem, Part Two

Featured image If the only information we had heading into yesterday’s election in Virginia was (1) that Hillary Clinton carried the state by five points and (2) that President Trump’s approval rating in Virginia was 40 percent (compared to 57 percent disapproval), it would have been fairly easy to predict that Republican Ed Gillespie would lose by around 9 points. If, in addition, we recalled that four presidents in a row had »

Virginia post mortem

Featured image It’s no surprise that Ralph Northam defeated Ed Gillespie. I was surprised, though, that the race wasn’t close, and I think most analysts were surprised that Northam won so comfortably (by at least 8 points, it looks like). With hindsight we can say that this was a race between two uninspiring candidates who needed, somehow, to inspire support. Northam inspired support because of raw hatred for President Trump. Gillespie tried »

Trump and McConnell hang out

Featured image President Trump met with Senate Majority Leader McConnell today. Then, they held a lengthy joint press conference. The transcript is here. White House officials described the lunch as focused mainly on efforts to cut taxes. Reportedly, Trump and McConnell also discussed Steve Bannon’s threat to back insurgent candidates in an effort to defeat numerous GOP Senators in primaries. It’s likely that convincing Trump not to support this effort was the »

Seth Leibsohn for Congress

Featured image Arizona radio talk show host and Power Line friend Seth Leibsohn has decided to run for Congress in Arizona’s 9th district. The Democratic incumbent, Krysten Sinema, is stepping down to run against Jeff Flake for the Senate, so it is an open seat. The 9th district, centered in Maricopa County, has a fairly close partisan balance among registered voters, and thus ought to be winnable by a strong candidate like »

Seth Leibsohn mulls congressional run

Featured image Two days ago, I wrote about Kyrsten Sinema who represents Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s likely that Sinema will run for the Senate seeking either the seat now held by Jeff Flake or, if it opens up, the one held by John McCain. If Sinema runs for the Senate, her House seat will be in play. The gossip mill in Arizona has it that »

Chuck and Nancy and Donald and Kyrsten

Featured image Kyrsten Sinema represents Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is said to be the first openly bisexual woman elected to Congress, as well as the only openly non-theist or atheist member of the current Congress. Sinema presents herself as a bipartisan moderate. She did not vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House and reportedly voted with the Democrats “only” 73 percent of the »

Chuck and Nancy and Donald and Heidi

Featured image President Trump has decided to work with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi because he’s concluded that otherwise he won’t be able to get things done. This begs the question, which is whether the things he can get done with Chuck and Nancy are worth doing. President Obama didn’t work with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan for the sake of getting things done. But Obama is a principled leftist. Trump is »

Justice Kennedy considering retirement next year

Featured image In this NPR story, the headline of which is about how conservative Justice Gorsuch’s votes have been, we learn that Justice Kennedy has not hired law clerks for the term that will begin in October 2018. Moreover, he has let applicants for these clerkship jobs know he is considering retirement. This doesn’t mean Kennedy will retire before the October 2018 term begins. However, the fact that he’s seriously considering doing »

Loose Ends (27) [with comment by Paul]

Featured image • I haven’t had a chance to look at anything pertaining to the Senate health care bill, but as Avik Roy is one of my primo go-to guys for health care policy, this tweet is enough to satisfy me: • The House Republican Campaign Committee has put out this short post-GA6 special election victory lap video that makes for fun viewing: But as Glenn Reynolds advises, don’t get cocky. November 2018 »

When No Politics Is Local

Featured image Scott and Paul have admirably covered the waterfront of the Ossoff-Handel race yesterday, which Handel won Handel-y. There is one further angle to ponder, however: the decisive end of the era of “all politics is local” theory of House races.  “All politics is local” is the slogan of the late Tip O’Neill, the Democratic Speaker of the House back in the Reagan era, and it reflected his view, and long-time »

After last night — no more Mr. Nice Guy?

Featured image After last night, lefty Democrats are complaining that Jon Ossoff didn’t run a sufficiently belligerent, sufficiently Trump-hating campaign. The Washington Post’s Paul Kane captures the sentiment in an article called (in the paper edition): “Ossoff chose civil resistance and lost. Do the Democrats need more warriors?” This reaction reminds me of the story of the psychologist who theorized that new born babies have the innate ability to swim. When he »

House Dems respond to passage of AHCA by singing

Featured image After the House passed the AHCA today, Democrats broke into song. They sang “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye!” and waved bye-bye at GOP members. That’s an odd response to the passage of a measure Democrats claim will wreck health care in America and, indeed, kill people. Republicans didn’t sing “good-bye” to Democrats when the Dems passed Obamacare. They knew that Democrats might well »