The GOP Field Grows: As Republicans consider electability and the ability to serve 8 years versus going in as a ‘lame duck,’ more and more candidates for President emerge.
Trump, DeSantis, Pence, Haley, Christie, Burgum, Scott, Ramaswamy, Hutchinson, Sununu, Youngkin, and others being talked about for President shows there is an optimistic future for conservatives.
From my perspective, the future is bright!
Read more below and follow me on Twitter & GETTR – @sanuzis
60 Plus Weekly Video Rewind
Links to the articles discussed in the video:
Republicans eye soft Democratic Senate seats as 2024 targets
Republicans are adding several more Democratic Senate seats to their growing list of targets in the 2024 election.
Of the 34 Senate seats up for reelection, 23 of them are being defended by Democrats. Early on, the GOP set its sights on seats currently held by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Jon Tester (D-MT), viewed as the most vulnerable Democrats in the coming cycle.
Now, Republicans are also looking to oust Democrats from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Nevada — places where President Joe Biden won with narrow margins in 2020 or where Democratic senators struggled to hang on in 2022.
First GOP debate: Who’s in, who’s out, and who’s sweating
The RNC officially set the debate rules. Let the games begin.
Spectators are salivating at the opportunity for former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to savage each other at the Republican National Committee’s first sanctioned 2024 debate in August. Others are hoping former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make himself into a human grenade on stage as he did with Sen. Marco Rubio in 2016.
But what if these high-profile matchups don’t happen?
The RNC unveiled its qualifying criteria for the Aug. 23 debate on Friday. While it’s too early to know exactly which candidates may or may not make the stage, the various party-loyalty requirements and polling and fundraising thresholds raise plenty of questions about a number of prominent candidates.
The field is already large and poised to grow next week, if, as expected, Christie, Mike Pence and Doug Burgum each jump in. Those potential entries would bring the number of major candidates who have held federal or statewide office to eight.
And with a handful of other Republicans who’ve never been elected spending seven figures on self-funded TV ads, the number of credible candidates is quickly approaching double digits.
‘Give me an eight!’ DeSantis must tout his constitutional advantage over Trump
Last week, before Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) launched his presidential campaign, news broke that more than 150 former President Trump officials calling themselves the “Eight-Year Alliance” would be supporting the governor’s efforts to win the 2024 GOP nomination.
The alliance’s name highlights a formidable strategic and constitutional advantage DeSantis holds over former President Donald Trump, who would be immediately become a “lame-duck” president if reelected. The 22nd Constitutional Amendment states, “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.”
Trump has yet to acknowledge this problem. And DeSantis, an underdog both nationally and in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, has barely lifted a finger to take advantage of it.
For the sake of long-term positioning, DeSantis needs to condense his eight-year vision for America into a bumper sticker-like message like “DeSantis equals eight,” to educate primary voters about why nominating Trump, with his four-year limitation, would put Republicans at a long-term disadvantage.
So far, communication with voters has not been the Florida governor’s strong suit. In his underwhelming announcement video following his Twitter Spaces debacle, the “Culture Warrior” governor said, “Righting the ship requires restoring sanity to our society, normalcy to our communities, and integrity to our institutions. Truth must be our foundation, and common sense can no longer be an uncommon virtue.”
Can the Heritage Foundation unite the right?
Kevin Roberts wants to return his think tank to the heart of the conservative conversation
Last September I was sitting in the crowd at the annual National Conservatism Conference, lamenting the fact that my hotel room had no hot water, when Dr. Kevin Roberts, the president of the Heritage Foundation, took the stage at Miami’s JW Marriott for his plenary address.
Nationalists and populists at the conference were suspicious of Dr. Roberts’s presence. The “New Right” had spent the past few years accusing the right-wing establishment, including the cache of center-right DC-based think tanks like Heritage, of selling out ordinary Americans for profit and influence. These think tanks were too focused on writing whitepapers, was their charge, and didn’t understand what had happened to the country: a working class has been economically hollowed out by free trade, unfettered immigration and automation, and culturally alienated by a monolithically liberal elite.
But with just one statement, Roberts put the crowd at ease: “I come not to invite national conservatives to join our conservative movement, but to acknowledge the plain truth that Heritage is already part of yours.”
Roberts was not conceding that Heritage, which he had been appointed to run a year earlier, had abandoned its longstanding commitment to free markets and limited government in order to find a new home with the populist right. In fact, as he explained in a recent phone interview, he and Heritage remain “skeptical” of “the political right getting much more engagement with unions,” something many on that end of the spectrum argue for. In Miami, Roberts was trying to explain to the NatCon crowd — and the conservative movement more broadly — that he wants the Heritage Foundation to be the organization that brings together disparate factions on the right into one powerful entity that can beat back the left.
What a Difference a Real DA Makes
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins follows the law and the evidence and does not make decisions based on what may be politically expedient.
Chesa Boudin, named after cop-killer Joanne Chesimard, and son of Weather Underground terrorists Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, was elected district attorney of San Francisco in November 2020. Criminals were happy with the outcome.
“Chesa Boudin threw a monkey wrench into the city’s criminal justice system,” recalls Richie Greenberg, San Francisco resident and business consultant. “Amid a series of high-profile cases, his promise to release repeat criminals and to allow quality of life crimes to go unpunished, San Francisco descended into a scofflaw paradise.”
Greenberg spearheaded a recall effort and in June 2022 voters booted Boudin by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin. Mayor London Breed then appointed University of Chicago law alum Brooke Jenkins, a prosecutor in the city’s homicide division.
Jenkins proceeded to fire 16 Boudin loyalists, part of “important changes to my management team and staff that will help advance my vision to restore a sense of safety in San Francisco by holding serious and repeat offenders accountable and implementing smart criminal justice reforms.”
A corrupt ‘progressive reformer’ goes down in flames
FLAMES. Back in 2021, President Joe Biden fought hard to win Senate confirmation for Rachael Rollins to become the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts. Rollins was the district attorney of Suffolk County, which includes Boston, and she had become notorious by pledging not to prosecute many crimes. Early in her term, she published the “Rollins Memo” that listed 15 crimes in which the “default is to decline prosecuting” — that is, in which her office would not allow its attorneys to prosecute unless a supervisor gave special permission.
Here is the list: 1) Trespassing, 2) shoplifting, 3) larceny under $250, 4) disorderly conduct, 5) disturbing the peace, 6) receiving stolen property, 7) minor driving offenses, including operating with a suspended or revoked license, 8) breaking and entering into vacant property, 9) wanton or malicious destruction of property, 10) threats excluding domestic violence, 11) minors in possession of alcohol, 12) drug possession, 13) drug possession with intent to distribute, 14) resisting arrest when the only charge is resisting arrest, and 15) resisting arrest if other charges are on the list of non-prosecutable offenses.
It was a recipe for urban disorder, all done in the name of criminal justice reform and addressing “structural racism” in the criminal justice system. But supporters, and many in the media, praised the “historic” nature of Rollins’s arrival as district attorney. She was, the stories noted, the first black woman to serve in the job. Coming in, she promised to “move now to make sure that overwhelmingly black and brown men aren’t disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system.” The no-prosecute crime list was part of that effort.
To Protect Europe, Let Ukraine Join NATO—Right Now
No Country Is Better at Stopping Russia
In July, the heads of NATO’s 31 countries will convene in Vilnius, Lithuania, for a summit—their fourth one since Russia invaded Ukraine. Like each of the last three, the proceedings will be dominated by how to address the conflict. The countries’ leaders will consider what Kyiv needs to keep fighting and what their states can offer. They will welcome Finland, which joined in April, prompted by the invasion. They will discuss Sweden’s pending application. They have invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, so they will discuss Ukraine’s bid as well. If past is prologue, they will affirm that Kyiv is on track to join the organization.
“All NATO allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in April. “Ukraine’s future is in NATO.”
Ukrainians, however, have heard that many times before. For the better part of the last two decades, Kyiv has sought NATO membership. And for the better part of the last two decades, NATO has left it twisting in the wind. In 2008, the alliance promised to eventually let Ukraine in, but it has never seriously considered Kyiv’s application. Instead, it first concluded that admitting the country was not worth the damage to Western-Russian relations. Then, after the Kremlin annexed Crimea in 2014, NATO decided that Ukraine’s membership would demand too much of the alliance and for too little in return.
But that was before Russia launched its full-scale invasion. In the 15 months since, everything has changed. The West’s ties with Russia have rapidly unraveled. NATO states began pumping Ukraine full of military aid. Kyiv has used this assistance to halt Russia’s attacks and push the country back. It has forced the Kremlin to burn through ammunition and gear at an astounding rate, degrading Russia’s overall strength. In doing so, Ukraine proved that it is not a drain on NATO but, in fact, an incredible asset. NATO exists to help protect Europe, and since Moscow’s invasion began, no other state has done more to keep Europe safe.
American slavery: Separating fact from myth
This article was published in 2017
People think they know everything about slavery in the United States, but they don’t. They think the majority of African slaves came to the American colonies, but they didn’t. They talk about 400 years of slavery, but it wasn’t. They claim all Southerners owned slaves, but they didn’t. Some argue it was all a long time ago, but it wasn’t.
Slavery has been in the news a lot lately. From the discovery of the auction of 272 enslaved people that enabled Georgetown University to remain in operation to the McGraw-Hill textbook controversy over calling slaves “workers from Africa” and the slavery memorial being built at the University of Virginia, Americans are having conversations about this difficult period in American history. Some of these dialogues have been wrought with controversy and conflict, like the University of Tennessee student who challenged her professor’s understanding of enslaved families.
As a scholar of slavery at the University of Texas at Austin, I welcome the public debates and connections the American people are making with history. However, there are still many misconceptions about slavery, as evidenced by the conflict at the University of Tennessee.
I’ve spent my career dispelling myths about “the peculiar institution.” The goal in my courses is not to victimize one group and celebrate another. Instead, we trace the history of slavery in all its forms to make sense of the origins of wealth inequality and the roots of discrimination today. The history of slavery provides vital context to contemporary conversations and counters the distorted facts, internet hoaxes and poor scholarship I caution my students against.