Hello #Risers! Welcome to the sixth edition of our newsletter. If you haven’t already, tell your friends to sign up by sharing the link to this post!
As promised every Friday we’ll tell you what our favorite segments of the week are, give you a written and expanded version of #RisingQs, and give you our weekly takeaways. If there’s anything you love, like, dislike, or hate don’t hesitate to reply to this email with your thoughts!
Favorite Segments Of The Week
1) Ryan Grim
Why: Ryan discovered that Pete Buttigieg’s campaign put out a press release touting endorsements of his ‘Douglass Plan’ by prominent African Americans in South Carolina who very much were not supportive of his candidacy and in two cases, were not supportive of the plan itself. In addition, many if not most of the touted supporters of the plan were white in spite of the Buttigieg campaigns strong suggestion to the contrary.
The Buttigieg campaign has a hilarious explanation as to how exactly they accomplished such an embarrassing feat, but you’ll have to watch to find out what it is.
2) Chris Hedges
Why: Chris is a particular favorite of Krystal’s and was one of the first to note that the Democratic establishment did not want to impeach Donald Trump until he targeted fellow elite Joe Biden. Chris compared this to the Nixon White House who had pursued all sorts of dirty tricks against anti-war activists, but didn’t get targeted himself until he messed with the DNC. Elite institutions rally to protect elite institutions.
3) Aaron Maté
Why: Aaron has been an essential voice for nearly two years on the Russiagate beat and excellently pointed out that the current campaign against Donald Trump is the same one that could be launched against any anti-establishment president that follows him.
The national security state is essentially in open warfare with Trump for daring to briefly interrupt the fate of Ukrainian military aid.
Answer (from Saagar): Yes, we do actually! According to the adopted Senate rules on an impeachment trial, every single U.S. Senator is required to be in attendance for all proceedings. These proceedings will go 6 days a week in the middle of the day and could last approximately 6-8 weeks, according to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr.
See my previous post from yesterday for more on this.
Answer (from Saagar): I’m not sure entirely about Medicare for All but in terms of raising the minimum wage my answer is: absolutely. We already saw Donald Trump win the presidency by just shucking the GOP establishment’s long held beliefs on trade. Imagine if a GOP politician bucked both trade and a whole host of other policies which govern the daily lives of the working class. America is a center-right country when it comes to culture, and a center-left country when it comes to economics.
The left is much less likely to deviate on cultural issues, so a GOP that wakes up to the current state is much more likely to win elections.
(from KB on Medicare for All): Recall that Trump essentially ran on universal healthcare although he was incredibly non-specific. Medicare for all has broad support and even had significant Republican support before the right began relentlessly attacking it.
Answer (from Krystal): It honestly won’t take that many. In fact, you can already see how impactful it is just to have a small handful of Democrats who are actually willing to speak out and hold power to account. I struggle to think of a more impactful action by a freshman member of Congress than when AOC joined Climate protesters outside of Speaker Pelosi’s office as one of her first actions. She completely changed the debate on climate policy. Today it’s only a handful who really embrace the Justice Democrats theory of change but just imagine what could happen with 10 in the Squad or 20? It would begin to truly transform the Democratic Party and you can bet if Sanders is President, that day is not far away.
Why no one cares about Ukraine-gate
As someone on the left who really can’t stand Donald Trump, I kind of hate talking about impeachment. On the one hand, I believe he has committed numerous acts of actual harm to real human beings that have really damaged our country in ways that are indeed “impeachable.” On the other hand, I believe that the two particular fixations of the Democratic establishment, Russiagate and now Ukrainegate, are really elite fixations that A. Don’t land with the American people B. Are being cynically pushed by a national security establishment that feels threatened and which we should treat extremely skeptically. C. Are not among the top 100 most terrible things that this administration has done.
This week though watching the impeachment proceedings unfold, it really dawned on me why so few Americans are moved by these particular allegations of Presidential corruption. It’s not because the Mueller report was long or because the impeachment proceedings are boring or because voters are too dumb to understand what “abuse of power” is as was suggested by one Democratic congressman. It’s because Democrats have no moral authority.
Democrats want America to care deeply about these particular presidential norms and guardrails and the rule of law. But when we look around and see that the people who destroyed the economy were never held accountable, and in fact are richer than ever, when we see how our elite institutions bent all the rules to protect Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, when we see Hunter Biden on a crack binge whilst making $50k per month on a corporate board at the same time that young black and brown men are locked in prison for life for the same offense under rules that Hunter’s own Daddy created, it makes all the moralizing about how no one’s above the law ring a little hollow.
The Washington Post is now selling an illustrated version of the Mueller Report so that maybe dumb voters will finally understand the gravity of the situation. Well I’ve got news for the Democratic establishment and their media allies, the American people understand plenty. Perhaps if I put it out in graphic novel form it will be clear enough for Pelosi and the Democratic leadership to finally get it.
Trump’s flawed re-election strategy
While the rest of the world was occupied with impeachment, my eyes were on a Tuesday speech that President Donald Trump gave at the economic club of New York. Trump basically took the opportunity to fete Wall Street and make the case for his administration as boosting GDP and propping up the markets. Shortly after the speech, the White House leaked to the Washington Post that it was considering a middle class tax cut to 15% ahead of the election to contrast themselves with the democrats heading into 2020.
The problem as I pointed out in my Wednesday monologue, is that it’s now clear the president and his administration are planning on a running campaign around how “socialism sucks” while tax cuts rock. A strategy that badly misreads the entire electorate.
The only tax cut that the people who came out of the woodwork in 2016 to vote for Trump would even be effected by is a payroll tax cut. Most of them don’t even pay very much in income tax, not because they’re lazy but because their wages, earning potential, and benefits have been destroyed over the last 30 years. Trump would do well to remember that the American worker put him in the White House on three issues alone. Cultural conservatism, rejection of free trade, and immigration restriction.
The more Trump and his team lean into how job creators are the real heroes in our economy, the closer they will inch towards a very competitive race in the key swing states he needs to win. Right now trump’s force of personality, defense of cultural conservatism alone, and record of wins on the trade front right now are keeping him competitive but it may not be enough.
The American workers in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will vote for which ever candidate which doesn’t want to radically socially alter their life and prove them an economic system in which they can support their family in the community that they know and love. It is up to Trump and the American right to rise to that challenge instead of venerating the very people who’ve robbed them of their livelihood for so long if they want to remain in power