Alex Jones has his day in court

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Bill Sher/Washington Monthly:

The ads that won the Kansas abortion referendum

Eschewing progressive pieties, advertisers targeted the broad, persuasive middle section of the electorate.

I reviewed eight ads paid for by Kansans for Constitutional Freedom. One uses the word choice. Four used answer. Three, none. The spots usually include the word abortionbut not always.

To appeal to libertarian sentiment, the spots aggressively attacked the anti-abortion amendment as a “government mandate.” To avoid alienating moderates who support abortion restrictions, one ad embraced provisions already on Kansas’ books.

And they used testimonials to reach the electorate: a male doctor who refused to break his “oath”; a Catholic grandmother worried about her granddaughter’s freedom; a married mother who had a life-saving abortion; and a male pastor offering a religious argument for women’s rights and, by implication, abortion.

Let’s analyze some of the ads.

Jack Jenkins/Religious News Service:

In the Kansas abortion vote, a blow to the political strategy of the Catholic bishops

“If this is what the bishops are going to do, if this was their plan for a post-Roe world, then Catholics are going to be very disappointed,” said one observer of the Catholic hierarchy.

Analysts were quick to label the result as a setback for the anti-abortion movement, but activists and experts say it also represents a repudiation of the Catholic Church hierarchy, which poured huge sums of money into supporting the amendment’s passage. The vote may also hint at a growing backlash against the church’s involvement in the nation’s abortion debate — not least among Catholics themselves.

As a result of the vote, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, who publicly supported passage of the amendment, issued a statement Wednesday lamenting its failure.

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Greg Sargent/WaPo:

The Trumpists are winning. Here are 3 hidden reasons to fear them.

The Trumpists in question are Republicans who have won nominations for positions such as governor and secretary of state in critical states. The disturbing truth is this: many of them are in denial legitimacy of President Biden’s victory in 2020, even as they seek to control the certification of future presidential elections.

But the reality of the threat it poses continues to be lost in euphemisms. There is a reluctance in the media to state the true nature of their project in plain, blunt and clear terms.

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Paul Waldman/WaPo:

Why criticism of Democrats for encouraging radical Trumpists is wrong

[John] Gibbs {MI]is one of many such candidates that Democrats have tried to help, and the reaction has been widespread outrage. Outside of the Democratic Party representatives who made the decision to implement this tactic, there seems to be a near-universal consensus that what they did was reckless and hypocritical.

But while I don’t unequivocally support parties trying to get their opponents to nominate the craziest candidates possible, there are a number of reasons why the criticism is overblown and even misguided. In fact, we could look back and say that the Democrats made a strategic judgment that struck a reasonable balance between risk and reward.

First, note that one of the first things Meijer did after its defeat was yes appear at a “unity” event with Gibbs. Whatever Meyer’s distaste for Gibbs’ abhorrent views, he’s backing Gibbs in the general election, so spare me the whining about the departure of such a noble public servant.

Second, we can’t escape this fact: Gibbs was exactly what Republican primary voters in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District wanted. This competition attracted a lot of attention and Gibbs made no secret of who he was. That’s what they chose, just as Republican voters do in state after state. On the same day, Republicans in another swing state, Arizona, nominated a slate of election saboteurs; their candidate for Secretary of State is actual member of the Oath Keepers, a right-wing extremist group.

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Politics:

Trump faces an uphill battle for executive privilege in the DOJ process

History and recent civil battles show that he is unlikely to prevail if he tries to block the testimony of grand jury witnesses about Yang. 6.

Short, Jacob, and Cypolon testify to Jan. 6 select committee but negotiated strict terms to avoid discussing their direct interactions with Trump — a nod to the contested possibility that such communications would be protected by executive privilege. But such claims are unlikely to go through a criminal process.

“There’s no way any court can say they shouldn’t have testified about conversations with President Trump in a grand jury investigation — a criminal investigation stemming from that conduct,” said Neil Eggleston, who served as White House counsel in President Barack Obama and represented President Bill Clinton in several executive privilege battles. “There is no doubt that if this goes to court, it will accept that the department is entitled to the information.” … I think it’s pointless.”

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NY Times:

Is it all “loyalty to Trump’s delusions”? Three writers talk about where the Republican Party is headed.

[Tim] Miller: I just want to say here that I really resent the idea that we Never Trumpers are obsessed with judicial yang. 6. Pennsylvania is a critical state that now has a gubernatorial candidate who won because of his allegiance to this lie, could win the general election, and could put his finger on the scales in 2024. The same could be true in another key state , Arizona. This is a red threat to our democracy.

Many Republicans in Washington, D.C., want to somehow erase it just as they dismissed the threat before January. 6 because it’s inconvenient.

[Ross] Douthat: Let me phrase this D.C. Republican objection differently: If this is a red-level threat to our democracy, why aren’t Democrats acting like it? Why did the Democratic Party enter so many of these races on behalf of the more extreme Republicans, stopping the theft? For example, given the closeness of the race, this kind of tactic likely helped Meijer win in Michigan.

Miller: Give me a break. The ads from the left trying to tilt the races were stupid and downright unpatriotic. I have them spoken about it before. But it’s not the Democrats who elect these crazy people. Are the Democrats responsible for Mark Finchem? Mehmet Oz? Herschel Walker? Mastriano earned over 20 points. That’s what Republican voters want.

Also, advertising is a two-way street. If all those smug Republicans were so mad about ads designed to promote John Gibbs, they could have run pro-Meijer ads! Where was Kevin McCarthy protecting his dick? He was in Florida shining Mr. Trump’s shoes.

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