2024:  Each Party’s Two-Word Problem

[Note:  this post is based on the perhaps questionable assumption that Trumplicans who have assumed discretionary control of the electoral mechanisms in some swing states don’t deny the 2024 Democratic presidential nominee fairly-won Electoral College votes.]

I would submit that each party has a two-word obstacle that it must finesse in order to win the White House in 2024.

The Republicans’ two-word problem is pretty obvious:  Donald Trump.  Given all of the opportunity we’ve had since 2015 to contemplate the former president’s psyche, I think it takes little insight to suggest that he is viscerally unable to relinquish the stage; he desperately fears being left behind, forgotten.  I may at some point have to concede that I was wrong, but I currently can’t believe that Mr. Trump won’t seek the Republican 2024 Presidential nomination.  If he wins the nomination, all of the animosities he stirs in those who oppose him, taken together with the political wounds he has seemingly suffered as a result of the hearings of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol (the “Committee”), plus all of the unease and weariness that would exist in conservative Independent and moderate Republican quarters at the prospect of having to again deal with him, make it seem to me that it will be difficult for him to defeat the right Democratic presidential candidate (more on that below) in enough swing states to reclaim the presidency.  On the other hand, if he loses the nomination, I would venture that Republicans are fantasizing if they think that Mr. Trump – who in defeat will almost certainly retain the diehard allegiance of at least one-third of the Republican base — will docilely accept his defeat and line up behind the nominee.  The former president will instead claim that every primary he lost was “rigged” or “stolen.”  He will loudly and continuously denounce the GOP nominee.  He will threaten to start his own party – and may follow through.  In short, he will stir up enough discontent and uncertainty that in swing areas, enough disgruntled Trumplicans may stay home to enable the right Democrat to win in the Electoral College – which is the only tally that matters.

[I deliberately pass over the debate as to whether Mr. Trump should be prosecuted for sedition.  While I personally consider Mr. Trump guilty of sedition based upon the evidence uncovered by the Committee (while recognizing, of course, that if obliged to sit on a jury judging Mr. Trump, I would have to steel my mind and soul to consider only the sufficiency of the evidence admitted in his criminal trial), I am against such prosecution not because of any worry that such will set a precedent for future political persecutions but because I consider it extremely doubtful that with at least a third of our citizens in Mr. Trump’s cult, any prosecutorial team will be able to persuade twelve jurors to find Mr. Trump guilty of sedition beyond a reasonable doubt.  The Biden Justice Department can’t, for the good of the country, afford to bring a case against Mr. Trump, and lose.]

The Democrats’ two-word problem is almost as obvious:  Kamala Harris.  While I consider President Joe Biden to have thus far done a good job overall – a discussion for a separate post – he is showing every bit of his approximately 80 years (even those that support him concede that he looks old).  Elections are about matchups; up against Mr. Trump, he might well win despite his advanced years — by simply running on a slogan, “Do you really want to go back to him?” – but against any other, inevitably more vital-appearing, Republican nominee, it’s difficult to conceive of him overcoming understandable reservations among Independents about his ability to serve out his term.  Accordingly, if he runs and retains Vice President Harris as his running mate, this will necessarily cause any open-minded voter to seriously consider whether she is qualified to be president.  My conclusion – not new to anyone who read a number of entries in these pages during the 2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination process, and regrettably unchanged by anything I’ve seen in Ms. Harris’ performance as Vice President – is, she’s not.  My impression of Ms. Harris seems, crucially, to be shared by a number of our progressive Madison, WI friends.  If they have misgivings about her ability to conduct the presidency, concerns about her among Independents and moderate Republicans – the electoral segments which will determine the outcome of the 2024 presidential election – make her a political liability that could sink Mr. Biden even against Mr. Trump, and an albatross that he cannot afford against any other Republican presidential nominee.

If the President is serious about running again, I hope that his closest aide will be sitting down with Ms. Harris immediately after the midterms, advising her that she will soon be announcing that for personal reasons and with great regret, she had advised Mr. Biden to nominate someone else to run with him in 2024. 

I would suggest that the 2024 political hazard Ms. Harris presents to Democrats is potentially exponentially magnified if Mr. Biden chooses not to seek a second term.  Unless the Vice President affirmatively and promptly declares that she will not seek the presidency, Mr. Biden’s withdrawal will immediately cause some in the media – in both liberal and conservative quarters, for different reasons — to anoint Ms. Harris as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.  If she seeks the 2024 Democratic Presidential nomination, I have severe doubts that progressive Democrats – who have an outsized voice in party affairs — will be able to unemotionally and pragmatically assess her qualifications and electoral prospects.  If she wins the nomination, I — as a resident of Wisconsin, which has become the ultimate swing state — don’t think she will be able to carry this state against Mr. Trump, let alone any other likely Republican presidential nominee with less baggage.  I’m finding that even those of our progressive Madison, WI, friends who are unwilling to express outright doubts about her competence have little faith in her Wisconsin electoral prospects.  If she can’t win here, it’s difficult to see how she can win the presidency.  If she seeks the nomination but loses the nomination to another candidate, I fear that it will be after a bitter campaign in which Democrats supporting any other candidate who is not also a woman of color will be denounced by the Woke segments of the party as either misogynist (if the competing candidate is male) or racist (if the competing candidate is white) or both (if the competing candidate is a white male) – despite the fact that there are regular indications that rank-and-file Democrats who are women and/or of color pragmatically prioritize competence and electability over diversity.  In a dilemma corresponding to the internecine discord facing Republicans related to Mr. Trump’s candidacy, I have severe doubts that if Ms. Harris runs, Democrats will be able to escape their own diversity-focused Wokeness sufficiently to cohere to defeat determined and organized Republican organizations in swing states (subject to the caveat that they might be able to do so if the opponent is Mr. Trump).

Make no mistake:  running against the wrong Democrat, Mr. Trump – or another like-minded Republican intent on instituting an American Apartheid – could fairly (i.e., without manipulation or fraud) win an Electoral College majority (if not the popular vote) in 2024, and thus, the presidency; if such a Republican does win the White House, the Republicans will not give it back.  And so:  who at this extremely early stage do I consider to be the right candidate for the Democrats’ 2024 Presidential nomination?  U.S. MN Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the first that comes to mind.  From a politically pragmatic standpoint, I am hoping that Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris will step back to clear the way for Ms. Klobuchar or some other competent and electable moderate Democrat to give us an opportunity to preserve our democracy in 2025 and beyond.

On Fertilizing and Mowing

Every Middle America neighborhood has one retired old coot who seems to have nothing better to do but cut his lawn every other day.  I realized the other day:  I’ve become that guy.

For over 40 years, the debate has continued between TLOML and me:  How frequently should we fertilize our lawn — if at all?

One school of thought on this hotly-discussed subject holds that in order to have a suitable – indeed, a lush, vibrant – lawn, one should fertilize four times a year, at the spring and summer Holidays:  Easter, Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day.  (We’ll ignore those fanatics who hold that another fertilization in late autumn is just what the little blades need to flourish.)  The other school of thought — while conceding that one does not want one’s lawn to be an embarrassment; one does not want the neighbors muttering that you’re endangering their property values — holds that except in rare instances, fertilization is The Devil; that all that happens when one fertilizes is that the grass will grow, simply increasing the number of times that one must mow.  This approach posits that relatively fewer summer fertilizations, while perhaps not yielding the lushest green carpet, will nonetheless be sufficient to avoid embarrassment.

Yet another debate:  Is it safe to mow when if it’s too hot?  This is not an expression of concern for the safety of the mower, but rather:  Won’t mowing when it’s too hot shock the grass?  There is, of course, the contrary philosophy:  This is mowing day.  Grass has survived for millennia.  It’ll survive mowing by a septuagenarian wielding a lawnmower that is, in dog years, even older than he is.

I have felt for decades that if I could spray paint our entire lot with a long-lasting grass-green paint (with pebbles, of course, for texture), such would be mighty tempting.  Given the little likelihood that I will be able to implement such a strategy, and since I’ve largely lost the fertilization debate, I am holding out for new scientific pronouncements.  In light of the way that many in our area embraced No Mow May, I am now hoping that some melittologist will declare that mature weeds, like long grass, fosters bee survival.  Perhaps then TLOML will embrace a new, “Leave the Weeds to the Bees” movement 😉 .

Have a great weekend.  Given the challenges we face domestically and internationally, there is no better time to celebrate and cherish our Independence Day.

On Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony

The June 28th testimony of Ms. Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, before the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol (the “Committee”), stands for itself.  Anyone who hasn’t either seen or heard about it, and the manner in which it implicates former President Donald Trump and Mr. Meadows in a coup to overthrow the United States government, has been living in a cave deep underground.  She made an excellent witness.  As I watched it, the same thought occurred to me as has been noted by various commentators:  it was, along with former White House Counsel John Dean’s testimony during the Watergate hearings, arguably the most compelling testimony ever rendered before Congress.  Perhaps the most dramatic if not the most significant part of the testimony was Ms. Hutchinson’s account of a White House aide, Tony Ornato, describing to her, in the presence of the head of Mr. Trump’s Secret Service detail, Bobby Engel, how Mr. Engel had told Mr. Ornato that after Mr. Engel informed the former president following his speech at the Ellipse that the Secret Service was not taking him to the Capitol,  Mr. Trump lunged for the wheel of his Presidential limousine in a rage and then struck at Mr. Engel when Mr. Engel attempted to restrain him.

And yet:  I am troubled by the report that Mr. Engel and the (as yet unidentified) member of the Secret Service agent driving the limousine are willing to testify that the events in the limousine did not occur.

Although I spent very little time in the courtroom in my career, it is among the most basic premises of trial work that when you are confronted with very damaging testimony, if you can discredit any part of the testimony, it casts doubt upon the witness’ entire account.    

It is a lawyer’s point to note that it is not inconsistent for Ms. Hutchinson to have testified truthfully about what Mr. Ornato told her in Mr. Engel’s presence while at the same time, the incident in the limousine did not in fact occur.  Even so, such a fine distinction will be lost in the controversy that will arise if Mr. Engel or the limousine driver testifies before the Committee (and at this point, the Committee will have no choice but to let these gentlemen testify live on television if the report regarding their prospective denials is accurate) that Mr. Trump neither reached for the wheel nor accosted Mr. Engel.  Mr. Trump’s defenders will use any such testimony by Mr. Engel and/or the limousine driver to discredit Ms. Hutchinson’s entire account.

The Committee has been so thorough and its presentations have been so compelling that it is frankly hard for me to believe that the Committee – which didn’t need the portion of Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony regarding the limousine incident to establish the most incriminating evidence against Mr. Trump and Mr. Meadows it has yet presented – would include it without corroboration of the incident by Mr. Engel or the limousine driver, or, at the very least, corroboration from Mr. Ornato or Mr. Engel of the exchange Mr. Hutchinson testified to.

I guess we’ll see.

On Roe’s Reversal

I predicted in January in these pages that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade, and that if such a decision was handed down, within sixty days thereafter most or all states under Republican control would outlaw abortion within their jurisdictions.  I ventured that on a purely political handicapping basis, if such occurred, it would provoke such outrage among liberals and conservatives and sufficient unease among Independents and Republican moderates that Democrats would retain their majorities in Congress.

While the outrage and unease I predicted in January is certainly occurring, at this point I sadly have little hope — but would love to be proven wrong — that such will be sufficient to enable Democrats to overcome gerrymandered Republican Congressional districts across the country and maintain their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.  That said, I remain optimistic that the strong negative reaction to the Roe reversal among progressives, liberals, and moderates will provide Democrats an excellent opportunity, if handled adroitly and if elections are administered fairly, to maintain control of the U.S. Senate and to prevail in close swing state races such as the Wisconsin Gubernatorial race.

Impressions of larger import than the political ramifications attending the Roe reversal also linger.

The first – the sense of diminishment that I have heard several women express at the decision — is not for me to address.

The second I consider less important than the last, despite its almost incalculable effect on our Constitutional system: the Supreme Court’s legitimacy and credibility is shredded in the public mind on issues of culture (which is all the public cares about).  Speaking as a septuagenarian, I don’t think that the Court will shed the stigma of partisanship it now carries during my lifetime – a particularly sad realization for someone who spent his career in the law.  The Republicans too blatantly made it their primary goal over the last decades to put pro-life Justices on the Supreme Court, despite public opinion polls’ consistent indication that the majority of Americans favor some level of abortion rights for women.  The conservative Justices have now fulfilled the task that they had in effect been assigned – another step in what has become a quest to establish an American Apartheid.  I find it difficult to believe that Roe would have been overturned but for both then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to conduct hearings on then-President Barack Obama’s 2016 nomination of then-U.S. Appellate Court Judge Merrick Garland and U.S. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s truly untimely death four months before the end of President Donald Trump’s term.  [Protestations by U.S. Senators such as Susan Collins (ME) and Joe Manchin (WV) since the Roe reversal that they trusted the recent conservative appointees’ representations during their respective confirmation processes that they would honor the Roe precedent simply demonstrates that either these Senators are fools, or think you are.]  Hypothetically say that Democrats successfully either add additional Supreme Court seats and pack them, or impeach the current conservative Justices and replace them; the reformed Court’s ensuing progressive-friendly decisions wouldn’t expunge its stain of partisanship, but rather reinforce it. 

As significant as the degradation of the Supreme Court’s standing in the public mind is for our Constitutional system, I consider this last impression, which has dogged me since I heard of the Roe reversal, to be of even greater, perhaps existential, import.  I hope that it is wildly off the mark, and you may well reject it.  It is based on this premise:  that the right to abortion – as compared to immigration, crime, climate, taxation, even gun rights; you name it – is the most enduring and emotionally divisive issue of our time, and as such, will always incite the same inestimable level of ardor and righteousness on both sides of the issue.  There is no way to reconcile the adversaries’ differences.  Neither side will ever back down.  I would submit that the fervor it generates is of a kind and akin to the abolitionist/slavery debate over 150 years ago.  When one adds the coming convulsion attending the Roe reversal to the many other issues in which our polarized citizens are unable to agree upon the same truth and seem unwilling to seek or accept good faith compromise, we may have entered a period of prologue not unlike the 1850s.

Watch This

In a recent post, I indicated that I wasn’t going to refer to the hearings of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack unless I was driven to write by outrage at the revelation of a particularly-egregious traitorous act by former President Donald Trump or his cohort. 

Below there is a link to a recording of the Committee’s June 23 hearing.  To be candid, while watching it, I felt no outrage, because it was simply confirmation of what I was already confident – and was already confident before January 6 – that Mr. Trump was capable of; however, if you haven’t already done so, I most strongly encourage you to watch the hearing in its entirety.  I know you’re busy, but suspect that sometime this weekend, you have planned to spend a few hours watching a movie or a ballgame.  Your time is better spent watching this.  Snippets you have seen on newscasts offer the headlines but not the full essence.  Hopefully, you have a screen bigger available than your phone.  You may well find it shocking or unnerving, but you won’t be bored.

https://january6th.house.gov/news/watch-live

The Passing of Mark Shields

A sad moment in our household:  the passing of Political Commentator and longtime PBS NewsHour Contributor Mark Shields, at age 85.  Between 2001, when New York Times Columnist David Brooks joined the NewsHour, and 2020, when Mr. Shields left the NewsHour due to failing health, we never failed to see their Friday night exchanges, being sure to record them when we couldn’t watch live.  Although my substantive sentiments were frequently closer to the more-conservative Mr. Brooks’ than to those of the more-liberal Mr. Shields, one could not help but be enchanted by Mr. Shields’ warm and open personality.  While Mr. Shields’ natural passing is without the anguish, outrage, and terror that have accompanied other incidents recently addressed in these pages, may he rest in peace following a life of contribution and good fellowship.  Although TLOML and I obviously never knew him personally, we nonetheless somehow feel that we’ve lost a wise and beloved friend. 

A link to an Associated Press piece on Mr. Shields’ passing is set forth below; I expect that it is more readily accessible to all that follow these pages than similar tributes by the Washington Post and the New York Times.      

https://apnews.com/article/david-gergen-brooks-mark-shields-maryland-elections-8ab1a49920e7f935c276f5fb1a505125

Man confesses to killing missing journalist and colleague, police say

Attached is a link to a Washington Post article reporting that Brazilian authorities have announced that a fisherman has confessed to ambushing and killing British journalist Dom Phillips and his colleague, Indigenous Expert Bruno Pereira, in a remote region of the Amazon.

Given the many days that passed following the disappearance of Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira, the outcome of the authorities’ search and investigation was not unexpected … but is nonetheless gut-wrenching.

The report indicates that Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira were armed when they began their trip.  Their weapons were insufficient protection against an ambush.

The report further indicates:

“President Jair Bolsonaro, a vocal advocate for development who has defended illegal miners and deforesters, has cast blame on Phillips for his disappearance. In a statement Wednesday, he said the journalist was ‘disliked in the region.’

‘He did a lot of stories against gold mining and on environmental issues,’ Bolsonaro said. ‘In that region, a region extremely isolated, not a lot of people liked him. He should have redoubled his focus on taking care of himself. But he decided to make this excursion.’” [Emphasis Added].

One can only infer from Mr. Bolsonaro’s dismissive attitude that he and the elements of Brazilian government he controls intend to do little to protect the Amazon environment, the indigenous people who live there, or those that report upon the activities of those ravaging it.   

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/15/brazil-dom-phillips-bruno-pereira-remains/

Bodies found tied to tree in search for journalist, colleague: Family

For those able to access it, there is a link below to a Washington Post article indicating that authorities searching for British Journalist Dom Phillips and his associate, Bruno Pereira, have found two bodies tied to a tree in the Amazon rainforest.  The report indicates that a Brazilian diplomat in London has informed a member of Mr. Phillips’ family that it is likely that the discovered remains are those of Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira, although such as not yet been confirmed.  Effects belonging to the two men have been recovered.  Our prayers go out for these two brave men who believed in protecting the Amazon and the uncontacted indigenous peoples who inhabit this extremely remote region.  

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/13/dom-phillips-bruno-pereira-bodies-found/

The January 6th Committee Hearings

One benefit of retirement is that it will enable me to watch most if not all of the upcoming hearings of United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, the first of which will proceed this evening.  Anyone who has followed these pages for any length of time – and seen the analogies drawn between the activities of former President Donald Trump and his cohort and passages in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf – knows the deep antipathy for and concern I have about what the former president and his co-conspirators have done, have attempted to do, and are continuing to do to our country.  That said – and subject to the caveat that outrage at the revelation of some particularly-egregious traitorous act may drive me to write – I plan to enter very little here about the evidence presented by the hearings, for reasons I expressed in a note in early January:

“The almost certain:  that the House … Committee … will [set] forth damning evidence showing that … former President Donald Trump and his traitorous cohort sought to overturn … a free and fair election and instigated the Capitol insurrection.  I believe that the political ramifications … will be … nil. … [T]hose citizens with – to paraphrase the Lord – eyes to see and ears to hear already know that Mr. Trump and his acolytes are guilty of sedition.  Those who willfully and steadfastly reject this fundamental and blatantly obvious truth will be unmoved by whatever the Committee brings forth.”

Noteworthy but not surprising is that many in the latter group won’t even see what the Committee brings forth, because Fox News – with its wide conservative audience – isn’t televising the hearings.  (I have seen one wag tweet that such failure is Fox claiming its Fifth Amendment right not to testify against itself.) 

In reviewing my earlier post, however, I do believe that the hearings might ultimately have some effect, to the benefit of Democrats and, ironically, “organization” Republicans such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:  it may weaken Mr. Trump’s hold on sensible Republicans and conservative independents (who I think will watch some, if not all of the hearings), thereby widening what already seems be a developing schism between Trumplicans and those who wish to move on from him.  Any such schism will help Democrats in 2024, if not this year, and – for good or ill, and whether or not Democrats hold the White House in 2024 – facilitate the return of control of the Washington GOP to Mr. McConnell and party regulars.

A Palliative Is Worse Than Nothing

Pal’-li-a-tive.  (Of a medicine or medical care) relieving pain without dealing with the cause of the condition.

  • Oxford Languages

As all are aware, there were multiple incidents involving firearms across our nation this past weekend that met the Gun Violence Archive’s definition of a “mass shooting”:  four or more people shot (injured or killed) in a single incident, at the same general time and location, not including the shooter.  I was out of town, visiting with friends.  On several occasions, we visited public venues.  I don’t know how many of them glanced around, considered — and then, out of necessity, dismissed – the thought I had:  that if a shooter entered the premises while we were there, we had few avenues of escape.

It’s being reported that given the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, a bipartisan Senate Committee led by Democratic U.S. CT Sen. Chris Murphy and Republican U.S. TX Sen. John Cornyn is considering so-called “gun legislation.”  Sen. Murphy, an ardent advocate of gun control, has apparently indicated that any product of the bipartisan negotiation will NOT ban assault weaponry, expand background checks, or raise the age at which firearms can be purchased.  Republicans, reportedly, instead wish to emphasize school security and mental health measures.  One Wall Street Journal account has noted, “Many Democrats, worn down after repeated failures to advance new laws, have said they are willing to settle for even a small bipartisan deal.”

As all who care are aware, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the scene of the deadliest elementary school mass shooting – including 20 children between the ages 6 and 7 — is located in Mr. Murphy’s state of Connecticut.  He took his seat in the Senate in 2013, less than a month after the Sandy Hook massacre.  Throughout his time in the Senate, he has worked tirelessly – and tragically, fruitlessly — for effective American gun control measures.  No one can have anything but complete admiration for his efforts.

At the same time, even the most pressing issues with the most obvious solutions – a pandemic, or in this case, the unspeakable slaughter of innocents – now somehow become political.  I didn’t want to sully the recent posts relating to the Buffalo and Uvalde mass shootings with any reference to their political ramifications.  I would now submit that for Democrats, what the Republicans are apparently willing to enact – in the Journal’s words, “a small bipartisan deal” – is a sucker’s bet.  They seem likely to take it.  They shouldn’t.

As those that follow these pages are aware, I generally maintain an incrementalist philosophy toward legislation:  if you see that you don’t have the votes to get the whole loaf, take what you can get.  While I can’t dismiss the possibility that President Joe Biden acquiesced to a sweeping Democratic domestic legislative agenda in areas such as voting rights, immigration reform, and the “Build Back Better” initiative because such was necessary to maintain the support of his party’s avid progressive wing, if the so-called “Go Big” strategy was his choice – if he saw himself as either a Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson – he may have squandered an opportunity during his first year in office to get small but popular measures passed, such as childcare relief and a path to legal status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

Even so, in the area of gun control, I think that Democrats should refuse to settle for a measure that fails to address any of the currently unaddressed evident root causes of many of these massacres.  Such a measure will enable Republicans in swing areas to soften swing voters’ outrage at the GOP’s intransigence by allowing them to loudly proclaim that they “did something” while simultaneously maintaining the support of gun rights advocates.  Democrats should want the issue, in its rawest form, if all they can get is a palliative.  They should want certain voter segments, such as those suburban Republicans who in 2020, because they could no longer stomach former President Donald Trump, either voted for Mr. Biden, or didn’t vote at all, to remain acutely uncomfortable.  (Making a negotiation breakdown appear to be the Republicans’ doing should be simple; all it would take would be the introduction into the talks of a generally-popular provision, such as institution of universal background checks.)  If Democrats think that after a modest measure is passed, bringing more aggressive bills – to ban assault weapons, to impose universal background checks, etc., etc. — to the floors of the Houses of Congress and making Republicans vote against them will have any political value whatsoever, I fear that they’re kidding themselves.

A close friend recently called my attention to a Politico article (linked below) in which a number of professional politicians opine that gun control is not the type of campaign issue that will sway a determinative number of voters.  While this assessment is certainly true in deep- (perhaps better described as, “dead-”) red areas – and arguably gained credence when the Republican U.S. Congressman representing suburban Buffalo, Chris Jacobs, announced on June 3 that he would not seek re-election after facing backlash for indicating that he would support an assault weapons ban — I did note that the piece reports that a Global Strategy Group poll has found that 58% of registered suburban voters in swing states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, support more restrictive gun laws.  If I was the Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Senate nominee running against Ron Johnson in a close election – and not expecting to garner any votes from ardent Republicans, as Mr. Jacobs needed to keep his seat – I’d rather have Mr. Johnson on the record as opposing all gun reform than enabling him to assuage the uneasiness of conservative independents and moderate Republican suburban women by asserting that he did indeed vote for a “gun law” — which, on a relative scale to what needs to be done, did precious little to protect our children, our grandchildren, or ourselves.

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/01/gun-control-debate-suburbs-elections-00036230?nname=playbook&nid=0000014f-1646-d88f-a1cf-5f46b7bd0000&nrid=00000171-35c5-dd63-a9fd-77d53c5e0000&nlid=630318