April 21, 2024

Opinion | Today’s Opinions: How to be a Republican for a month

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‘My month of living Republicanly’

The Republican Party: Come for the chance to support Nikki Haley. Stay for the Chick-fil-A Original Chicken Sandwich.

Such was the experience — one assumes; have you ever tasted that sandwich? — of Dana Milbank, who after living as a registered independent basically all his adult life, switched his ID to Republican to vote for Haley in the GOP’s D.C. primary as a protest against Donald Trump.

As with everything in Dana’s life, he approached the situation with the utmost seriousness: “If I was going to register as a Republican, it was only right that I should start acting Republican. And so began my month of living Republicanly. I ate like a Republican, slept like a Republican, shopped like a Republican.”

Thus, the sandwich. The NASCAR viewing. The visit to a gun show. (Not all at the same time, mind you. Give Dana until at least the next midterms to pull off that feat.)

Dana’s column is a lot of fun, and benefits from containing information on purchasing a MyPillow at a discount, too. But just as you start to worry he might be having a little too much fun on his political safari, he meets the real-deal D.C. Republicans at the (sole) polling location.

“I was the only person in the place wearing camo gear,” Dana reports. The others, who carried Haley to victory by night’s end, cared about democracy and comity and global leadership.

The sobering experience “reminded me why I had become a Republican in the first place,” Dana reflects, “and it had nothing to do with MyPillow.”

Chaser: I had to know the fate of Dana’s new MyPillow. He reports to me: “It’s on my couch. The cats like it. They are probably Republicans.”

As law professor, journalist and author Noah Feldman writes, to tackle what Israel means for being a Jew today would require a whole book. In fact, he has written one.

He has also written an essay adapting it, distilling into one sitting’s worth a lot of big ideas about the generational conflict among Jews, the evolution of Israel within Jewish theology, and progressive Judaism’s call to tikkun olam — “literally, repairing the world.”

To boil down Feldman’s book any further would be an injustice, so I’ll merely point you to his work. It is illuminating if you are a Jew and illuminating if you are not.

For the latter camp, consider Feldman’s characterization of the Jewish lens as you embark on his analysis: “What makes the Jewish way of seeing the world distinctive is precisely that love and struggle are inextricably intertwined in it.”

Chaser: Karen Attiah condemns the way President Biden has deployed Black women such as Vice President Harris and U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the faces of U.S. policy on Gaza.

Americans are liking the economy. Congrats … Trump?

From Catherine Rampell’s column on the country’s improving attitude toward the economy. “Sure,” she writes, “views of the economy might not be rosy just yet, but they’re definitely rosier.”

So voters’ approval of Biden’s handling of the economy is ticking up, too. That’s ticking up, too, right? Well …

Catherine, dispirited, says the mismatch is a total failure of critical thinking on the public’s part.

What’s worse is that most people predict Trump would handle the economy better — but basically every analysis of his proposals says the opposite! And Trump’s track record as president doesn’t inspire much confidence, either.

Biden’s best hope, Catherine writes, is that Americans wise up.

Chaser: In her latest Prompt 2024 newsletter (sign up here), Alexi McCammond asks Dana Milbank and Gene Robinson how bad things really are for Biden.

A 9-0 opinion from the Supreme Court! Is it finally rainbows and lollipops and jurisprudential harmony at One First Street?

The Editorial Board writes that the court did indeed decide Trump’s eligibility for the 2024 election correctly, ruling unanimously that individual states cannot apply the 14th Amendment to boot him from their ballots. The decision, the board says, “settles a legal controversy whose answer ought always to have been clear.”

But the majority of the conservative justices went much further than their liberal colleagues wanted to, asserting that the relevant section of the amendment is basically unenforceable absent clarifying legislation from Congress.

In the three liberal justices’ concurring opinion balking at this overreach, Ruth Marcus sees a long-simmering frustration within the court finally boiling over. “The most telling aspect of Trump v. Anderson,” she writes in an insightful analysis, might not be the 9-0 breakdown but “the glimpse it offers behind the scenes of a court that, even when it appears unanimous, is bitterly divided.”

Chaser: Jen Rubin writes that as long as Trump faces a fall trial, the Supreme Court has done him no favors in delaying the proceedings over his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

  • Three years ago, Oregon experimented with decriminalizing drugs. The policy was flawed, Rob Gebelhoff writes, but not nearly the failure the right makes it out to be.
  • Last year, Ken Paxton, Texas’s Republican attorney general, was impeached on charges including bribery. This Super Tuesday, James Hohmann reports, he has a plan for revenge.
  • Colby King revisits the decade-old disappearance of a D.C. 8-year-old and is still most horrified by the blank spaces in her story.

It’s a goodbye. It’s a haiku. It’s … The Bye-Ku.

Well, there’s this pillow …

Have your own newsy haiku? Email it to me, along with any questions/comments/ambiguities. See you tomorrow!

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