Herschel Walker And The New GOP Standard
Another name for moral victories is losing
Walker’s experience will serve as a sign of another development: Republican voters have a different standard now when it comes to accusations of sexual impropriety or even abortion hypocrisy. The Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape followed by the Brett Kavanaugh experience illustrated that when Democrats deploy attacks that might have, in bygone days, sunk GOP presidential candidates or judicial nominees, today’s GOP is no longer so morally brittle. They are more interested in winning no matter what than in feeling good about polite honorable losers. Moral victories are for sports, not politics.
Even if Georgia GOP voters have qualms about Walker, the overwhelming majority of conservatives and pro-lifers will still vote for him. He’s up against a radical left senator in Warnock whose position on abortion is representative of the Democrat extreme — no limits, up until birth, taxpayer funding and all the rest. Walker’s personal moral failings are irrelevant to a Republican who just wants to see the Senate back in GOP hands.
There was once a time when fiscal conservatives and national security hawks bemoaned the necessary steps they had to take as fusionists to win over pro-life social conservatives. For decades, they imagined a more pragmatic third leg to the stool — and all they could achieve if that priority was put into the minds of the Bible-thumpers. Well, that’s what today’s Republican Party has become — and just as it has led them to make peace with voting for Donald Trump, it will lead them to make peace with voting for Herschel Walker. As Red Saunders would say: “Winning isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.”
Elon Musk To Buy Twitter After All
It’s a very odd victory, as Holman Jenkins notes, if you can call it that:
Mr. Musk’s case was far from strong, as pointed out here in July, and furthermore the dispute threatened to pop the mystique that upholds Tesla’s all-important share price, a likelihood that only grew with the prospect of Mr. Musk being questioned on the stand about his now-released antic private text messages. Mr. Musk might well have hoped that the Musk aura that so confounded, for instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission when it tried to make him behave like a normal CEO would also work with the Delaware court and Twitter. They would shrink from forcing the mercurial entrepreneur to proceed with the purchase of an important public company that he had turned to ridiculing and accusing of fraud.
Which brings up a question: If you’re Twitter, what do you do now? Your shareholders presumably want you to hold Mr. Musk to the deal, which would get them $54.20 a share for a stock that might be worth single digits if not for moneybags Musk. A conscientious management, though, might balk at delivering the company to a man who doesn’t want to own it, has bad-mouthed it, and is plainly surrendering only to legal force majeure to become its apparently unenthused proprietor.
What does Elon’s Twitter to-do list look like?
Musk has said Twitter should enforce fewer rules about speech and let users say anything that is not explicitly outlawed by their governments.
15 years of experience with mass social networks online tells us that such an approach is wildly impractical and likely to unleash floods of spam, bullying, fraud and disinformation.
That will either drive swathes of Twitter users away from the platform in disgust or push Musk to rebuild the content-moderation systems he now wishes to dismantle.
The biggest free-speech choice of all Musk will immediately confront is what to do about former president Donald Trump's account.
Trump was permanently banned from Twitter after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Musk doesn't have to do anything. But he has said that he is against permanent bans, and many of his fans believe he will invite Trump back to the service.
If he does that, should plan on having to resolve a bottomless supply of conflicts sparked by Trump's penchant for testing or breaking any limits placed on his expression.
The Post-Dobbs Blue Boom Declines
Is the pro-abortion outrage diminishing? 538 investigates:
A large, recently released survey from the American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center on American Life shows that women between age 18 and 29 are especially likely to say that they’re following news about abortion rights and access closely, and also that abortion is a critical issue for them.1 They’re also more likely than young men to say that they’re single-issue voters on abortion.
But even though young women appear to be following politics more closely than they were before the Dobbs decision, it may be harder for Democrats to mobilize them now than it was even a month or two ago. Since the summer, abortion appears to have become a less prominent issue. Data from FiveThirtyEight’s ongoing survey with Ipsos indicates that the share of Americans who say they have heard a lot about abortion in the news declined from August to September. And probably not unrelatedly, the share of Americans who say that abortion is one of their top three voting issues fell over that period as well, after peaking in July.
Violent Crime Rises In Cities
Confirming widespread perceptions, the nation’s largest crime survey finds that violent crime in urban areas rose dramatically from 2020 to 2021. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the statistical arm of the Department of Justice, recently released findings from the 2021 National Crime Victimization Survey. According to the NCVS, which dates to the Nixon administration, the rate of violent crime rose only in urban areas. It did not change to a statistically significant degree in suburban or rural areas.
The NCVS involves about a quarter of a million interviews each year with a nationally representative sample of U.S. residents. The federal government’s field agents ask respondents whether they were the victim of a crime within the past six months. According to the NCVS, violent crime in urban areas rose 29 percent from 2020 to 2021, from 19.0 to 24.5 victimizations per 1,000 persons aged 12 or older.
From 2018 through 2020, the NCVS found that the violent-crime rate in urban areas was between 29 percent and 42 percent higher than the rate in rural areas. In 2021, however, the violent-crime rate in urban areas was 121 percent higher, more than doubling the rate in rural areas (24.5 victimizations in urban areas, versus 11.1 in rural areas, per 1,000 persons). In addition, the violent-crime rate in urban areas was 48 percent higher in 2021 than in suburban areas, more than tripling any difference in urban and suburban rates registered from 2018 to 2020. The property-crime rate in urban areas was nearly twice as high in 2021 as in suburban areas (157.5 to 86.8 victimizations per 1,000 households) and nearly three times as high as in rural areas (157.5 to 57.7 victimizations per 1,000 households).
The Benefits Of Degenerate Sports Gambling
I write in defense of sports gambling in The Spectator:
Yes, the morality police will argue that gambling shackles people to material gain and greed. But degenerate gambling of the most absurd sort is really no different from the daily fantasy sports that have been with us for a decade. It gives people the opportunity to become more invested in sports, which by extension promotes camaraderie, community, and brotherhood. In the instance of major wins or losses, it gives people the ability to “love thy neighbor” through the hard times and the good.
In this era of the ever-disposable athlete affiliation, gambling is a true social bond. You may like a player one year and hate him the next, but if he helps you win that long-shot bet, you will be forever his brother, and the brother of all who followed you into that foolish gamble thanks to your convincing argument at the local watering hole.
It’s no accident that some of the greatest Americans — Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Pete Rose, Dave Portnoy, former education secretary Bill Bennett — are dedicated gamblers. Taking a risk on matters of chance is an iconic American activity, and no one should deny it to the average barfly who thinks that, gorrammit, Leonard Fournette is due.
Items of Interest
Sharp slowdown in global trade points to possible recession.
How Finland will bolster NATO’s Northeastern flank.
Iran protests are driven by a shrinking middle class.
Ukraine’s new offensive is fueled by capture of Russian weapons.
Kazianis: Why Russia could use nukes in Ukraine.
America’s chip war with China.
CBS AZ Poll: Kelly and Masters within margin of error, Lake and Hobbs tied.
Johnson, Oz gain in Senate polling.
DeSantis up big in Florida governors’ race.
Democrats face a daunting 2024 slate of races.
Biden’s Delaware visitors shrouded in mystery; Secret Service claims no records.
No, mocking the police is not a crime.
Cato Institute names new chair, welcomes Whole Foods’ John Mackey to board.
Citing concerns, 12 federal judges say they will no longer take clerks from Yale.
VerBruggen: Generations of wokeness.
Media fears Elon Musk’s new approach to Twitter.
Jeffrey Sachs bumped off-air after suggesting US sabotaged Nord Stream.
ABC swoons over radical leftist Cori Bush.
Taylor Lorenz attacks colleague over “insensitive” Covid tweet.
Miller: Sorry, Meta, we don’t believe you on election misinformation.
Icahn, other investors clean up on Musk’s Twitter about-face.
DeSanctis: Abortion and what we throw away.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hold hands in “defiance”.
Woodlief: Conservatives’ new divide is between Frodo and Boromir.
Kim Kardashian on her weekly true-crime podcast, 'Kim Kardashian’s The System: The Case of Kevin Keith.'
Aaron Judge sets home run record with 62, fan leaps out of stands to no avail.
“It was tied with a Windsor knot. Bond mistrusted anyone who tied his tie with a Windsor knot. It showed too much vanity. It was often the mark of a cad. Bond decided to forget his prejudice.”
— Ian Fleming