Republicans lob accusations of elitism at ‘Middle Class Joe’ — a sign of the upended politics of populism
President-elect Joe Biden, a state-college graduate who was once the poorest man in the U.S. Senate, is facing accusations of elitism from Republicans after defeating a billionaire incumbent with an Ivy League degree — a sign of how the politics of populism have been upended and redefined by President Trump.
In other words, Republicans lie about absolutely everything. News at 11.
The Damage Will Last
The precedents Trump has set, the doubts he has sown, and the claims he has made will linger.
The guardrails of our system actually worked,” the political analyst Amy Walter marveled on Monday evening, capturing how many reacted to the Trump administration initiating a formal transition of power to the Biden administration. American democracy had survived its weeks-long brush with disaster, despite President Donald Trump’s baseless fraud claims, surreal press conferences, and shaky legal challenges. All of this brought relief (“excellent news for American democracy”), triumphalism (“we saved ourselves and America”), ample use of the past tense (“Never forget how dangerous and abnormal this all was”), and ridicule of the Trumpian sideshow (“rage tweeting” and “comical lawsuits”).
This isn’t over, folks. While the decision to begin the transition process does amount to an implicit concession by the president, Trump hasn’t yet explicitly acknowledged his loss—and there are indications he might never do so. As I write, in fact, the president is continuing to insist that the “2020 Election Hoax” will “go down as the most corrupt election in American political history,” that he will continue to press this case, and that he “will never concede to fake ballots & ‘Dominion.’”
Will Wilkinson/NY Times:
Why Did So Many Americans Vote for Trump?
To the dismay of Democrats, the president’s strategy of ignoring the pandemic mostly worked for Republicans.
Democrats, struggling to make sense of it all, are locked in yet another round of mutual recrimination: They were either too progressive for swing voters — too socialist or aggressive with ambitious policies like the Green New Deal — or not progressive enough to inspire potential Democratic voters to show up or cross over.
But they should understand that there was really no way to avoid disappointment. Three factors — the logic of partisan polarization, which inaccurate polling obscured; the strength of the juiced pre-Covid-19 economy; and the success of Mr. Trump’s denialist, open-everything-up nonresponse to the pandemic — mostly explain why Democrats didn’t fare better…
Mr. Trump abdicated responsibility, shifting the burden onto states and municipalities with busted budgets. He then waged a war of words against governors and mayors — especially Democrats — who refused to risk their citizens’ lives by allowing economic and social activity to resume.
Horse-race political analysis is important — and flawed. We need more moral journalism.
Whatever its cause, the crisis faced by polling is leading to some soul-searching. Maybe the whole business of political analysis and commentary has placed too much emphasis on opinion polls. Maybe there should be less focus on the horse-race aspect of politics and more on the issues facing the country. Maybe we should rebalance political coverage away from who is up and who is down in favor of candidates’ policy proposals on pandemic response, or police reform, or containing Chinese aggression.
This kind of issues journalism is important, and there should be more of it. An informed electorate, in the long run, will have better democratic outcomes. But the urgent problem of American politics is not an insufficient airing of policy disagreements; it is that policy views have become a function of cultural identity.
How One of the Reddest States Became the Nation’s Hottest Weed Market
Oklahoma entered the world of legal cannabis late, but its hands-off approach launched a boom and a new nickname: ‘Toke-lahoma.’
Oklahoma is now the biggest medical marijuana market in the country on a per capita basis. More than 360,000 Oklahomans—nearly 10 percent of the state’s population—have acquired medical marijuana cards over the last two years. By comparison, New Mexico has the country’s second most popular program, with about 5 percent of state residents obtaining medical cards. Last month, sales since 2018 surpassed $1 billion.
Blame game erupts over Trump’s decline in youth vote
Everyone had a scapegoat — from the president himself, to the campaign to outside groups like Turning Point USA.
To Trump’s critics, Biden gained ground with young voters because of who his opponent was: a divisive politician with a culture wars playbook that failed to energize audiences outside of his base. But among the president’s campaign aides and allies, the consensus is far less clear. Interviews with more than a dozen people involved in Trump’s 2020 operation revealed rifts, acrimony and a system in which no one would take the blame but everyone had a scapegoat — from the president himself, to the campaign to outside groups like Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk’s conservative campus organizing group.
The fallout has left the GOP with a dearth of insight into what went wrong with millennial and Gen Z voters — particularly in a cycle where Trump saw gains with other demographics — and no clear strategy to prevent another surge of youth support for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections. And the Republican Party is desperately in need of a strategy to reverse the trend, having struggled for decades to connect with younger voters.