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Posts tagged ‘2022 MIDTERMS’

After Approving Mass Mail-In Balloting, California Loses 10 Million Ballots In November Midterms


BY: VICTORIA MARSHALL | JANUARY 18, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/18/after-approving-mass-mail-in-balloting-california-loses-10-million-ballots-in-november-midterms/

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The 2022 midterms were the first major elections to occur in California after the Golden State approved all-mail voting in September 2021. Under the new system, all registered voters in the state are automatically mailed a ballot for each election cycle (Californians can still opt to vote in person if they wish). But during California’s first foray into mass mail-in balloting for the 2022 midterms, 226,250 mail ballots were rejected and more than 10 million remain unaccounted for, according to a new report by the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

Per the report, the most common reason for rejection of mail ballots in the 2022 cycle was late arrival (48 percent of rejects). Under California law, mail ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day and arrive at the tabulation center within seven days. For the state’s 2022 general elections, more than 57,000 ballots arrived after Nov. 15 (the seven-day mark). Largely as a result of the switch to mail-in balloting, more than 57,000 Californians were disenfranchised. Such voter disenfranchisement is sure to continue as long as the state keeps its vote-by-mail system. 

“Mail ballots disenfranchise,” PILF President J. Christian Adams said in a statement. “There are many reasons mail ballots fail ultimately to count. No one casting a ballot at home can correct an error before it’s too late. California’s vote-by-mail demonstration should serve as a warning to state legislators elsewhere.”

Another concerning figure coming from California’s midterm election cycle is that 10 million ballots still remain unaccounted for, after processing all polling place votes and rejected ballots. The assumption by election officials is that the majority of these ballots were ignored or thrown out by recipients. But such an information gap increases the risk of fraud. As the report notes, “The public cannot know how many ballots were disregarded, delivered to wrong mailboxes, or even withheld from the proper recipient by someone at the same address.”

Unaccounted mail-in ballots are a serious liability for states with all-mail voting. According to data from the federal Election Assistance Commission, 28.3 million mail-in ballots are still missing from elections conducted between 2012 and 2018. While there is no way of knowing whether these missing mail-in ballots were used fraudulently, they still pose a risk to election integrity.

Take ballot harvesting — the practice of third-party organizers collecting ballots from voters and returning them to election offices — for example. States that approve all-mail voting greatly incentivize ballot harvesting, since Democrat doorknockers can coax potential voters to fill out their ballots and hand them over to their newfound Democrat friends on the spot, rather than having to convince voters to do the legwork themselves. Partisan activists may take advantage of such a lax system. And they already do.

All-mail voting also creates more opportunities for chaos, which in turn undermines voters’ confidence. Under a traditional system where voters cast ballots in person, poll workers must account for all election materials and have a log of the number of ballots cast. When problems occur, such as ballots disappearing, the issue is resolved quickly due to the data trail. Not so with all-mail elections.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, multiple states switched to mail-in balloting under the guise of protecting public health. These voting systems were put in place with hardly any safeguards or scrutiny of the risks posed by all-mail elections. Currently, there are eight states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington — that primarily conduct their elections by mail.


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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With 25,000 Mysterious Votes and Missing Documents, Maricopa’s 2022 Election Process Marked by Chaos and Uncertainty


BY: VICTORIA MARSHALL | JANUARY 18, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/18/with-25000-mysterious-votes-and-missing-documents-maricopas-2022-election-process-marked-by-chaos-and-uncertainty/

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Arizona law requires the county recorder to show the origins of and chain-of-custody documents for every drop box ballot obtained.

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While the GOP and conservative media have largely moved on from Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and the systemic failures that occurred in Maricopa County on Nov. 8, court testimony and eyewitness reports from the Lake trial include allegations that Arizona’s largest county violated state law by failing to implement chain-of-custody documentation for Election Day ballots, resulting in a mysterious 25,000 extra votes added to Maricopa County’s official tally within a 24-hour periodmore than the margin of victory between Lake and gubernatorial victor Katie Hobbs.

It was about 10:00 on election night when Maricopa County’s ballot tabulation vendor, Runbeck Election Services, received its first truckload of Election Day drop box ballots. While Runbeck received seven truckloads total (the last was completed about 5 a.m. the following morning), Runbeck staff thought it odd the deliveries did not come earlier throughout the day. But that wasn’t the only glitch. There were no chain-of-custody forms delivered with the ballots, a stark departure from typical procedure.

According to Runbeck employee Denise Marie, prior to Nov. 8, drop box ballots were “delivered in red bins with a chain of custody form” from the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC), which listed how many ballots were delivered.

But on election night, “instead of receiving the ballots in red bins, the ballots from the drop boxes had been placed in mail trays and loaded onto mail cages. MCTEC did not include the Maricopa County Delivery Receipt forms with any of the Election Day drop box ballot deliveries. There were no chain of custody forms with the ballots and no count of the number of ballots that were delivered,” Marie wrote in a sworn affidavit.

Maricopa County Co-Director of Elections Reynaldo Valenzuela even testified that while the county’s election workers count drop box ballots and record the counts on documents as required by law prior to Election Day, they did not count the ballots retrieved from drop boxes on Election Day itself. During the Lake trial, Valenzuela was asked whether Maricopa County election officials know the precise number of drop box ballots on Election Day, and he told the court, “On Election Day, no, because we’re not doing drop box courier process at that time. It’s a different process for Election Day.”

According to Lake attorney Kurt Olsen, this is in direct violation of Arizona state statute, which requires the county recorder to maintain records that log the chain of custody for ballots “during early voting through the completion of provisional voting tabulation.”

Per Arizona’s Election Procedures Manual, when ballots are taken from drop boxes, they must either be counted at the local vote center or be placed in secure ballot transport containers to be taken back to the county for tabulation. When the county recorder or elections official opens the container, he or she must count the number of ballots inside and note it on a retrieval form.

Because Maricopa County tabulators received more Election Day drop box ballots than they had ever received before, as County Recorder Stephen Richer testified, they removed the ballots from the ballot transport containers without counting or recording the number on a retrieval form for each drop box, as witnessed by Republican poll watcher Leslie White. This is a violation of the chain-of-custody requirements the county recorder is tasked with implementing.

The ballots were then put in mail trays and loaded onto mail cages, which were then put on trucks and delivered to Runbeck to be scanned and counted, according to supply-chain auditor and Lake trial witness Heather Honey. And notably, according to Marie’s sworn affidavit, this loading of ballots into the trucks also occurred without any documentation or record of the number of ballots on each.

Since Maricopa County failed to create its own chain-of-custody documents for the Election Day drop box ballots, Runbeck made its own (called “MC Inbound Receipt of Delivery Forms“), which logged the seven truckloads of drop box ballots on election night. On the delivery forms, Runbeck estimated the total number of Election Day drop box ballots to be 263,379 by multiplying the maximum number of ballots a mail tray can hold by the number of trays received, as Honey explained to The Federalist.

Runbeck CEO Jeff Ellington gave his staff a similar estimate of the number of ballots received via an email on Nov. 9, saying, “we started getting mail packets dropped off from Maricopa around 10pm last night and received mail packets about every hour through sunrise this morning. Likely between 250 and 275K packets were dropped off at the polls yesterday.”

At a press conference that evening, Richer affirmed Runbeck’s estimate by saying the county had received an unprecedented 275,000 drop-off ballots on Election Day. That same day, Maricopa County reported the total number of ballots cast in the 2022 general election to the Arizona Department of State: 1,136,849 ballots, with 407,664 ballots left to count — 1,544,513 ballots total.

However, on that same day, around 5:30 p.m., Maricopa County asked Runbeck to calculate the total number of Election Day drop-off ballots received, according to Marie, who was tasked with running the tabulation herself. Marie found that Runbeck’s records showed 298,942 drop box ballots had been received and scanned on Election Day.

As a result of such a discrepancy between the estimate and the official tally, Maricopa County sent a new vote tally to the Arizona secretary of state’s office on Nov. 10 (earlier that day, Richer had sent an email to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors admitting he could not reconcile the differences between the county’s numbers and the secretary of state’s listing, demonstrating that even the supposed expert official in charge of the counting process couldn’t figure out where the extra ballots came from). Instead of the original 1,544,513 total ballots reported for the 2022 general election in Maricopa County, the secretary of state’s website now listed 1,569,603, a more than 25,000-vote discrepancy with no explanation. That same day, Maricopa County gave another press conference, stating it had received 292,000 Election Day drop box ballots without batting an eye.

What This Means

Arizona law requires the county recorder to show the origins and chain-of-custody documents for every drop box ballot obtained. According to Runbeck employee Denise Marie and Maricopa County Co-Director of Elections Reynaldo Valenzuela, Maricopa County violated state law by failing to create any chain-of-custody documentation for the drop box ballots received on Election Day. Because of this failure, no records exist to dispute or reconcile the discrepancy between the number of ballots Runbeck first reported (263,379) and its final tally (298,942), a more than 35,000-vote change. As Olsen remarked in his closing argument for the Lake trail, “If you don’t have a count from MCTEC when those ballots are being transported to Runbeck, how do you know whether that count is secure?”

Nor do there appear to be chain-of-custody documents, a violation of Arizona law, showing how Maricopa County was able to add more than 25,000 ballots to its final tally. That addition is more than Hobbs’ margin of victory, which was about 17,000 votes.

“On November 9th, the reported count is 25,000 ballots less, which is beyond the margin here, than on November 10th,” Olsen said. “So the day after the election, they put out what the count is and then magically 25,000 ballots appear on November 10th, and well, hey, that’s the race.”

While part of the argument Lake’s attorneys used in their lawsuit seeking to challenge Arizona’s gubernatorial election was that Maricopa County violated its own Election Procedural Manual by failing to implement chain-of-custody documentation, Arizona Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson rejected the claim due to the county’s assertion that such chain-of-custody documents exist, even though it failed to produce them. At the time of the trial, Maricopa County hadn’t fulfilled a public records request for the documents.

But while such documents do exist for drop box ballots counted prior to Election Day, no such chain-of-custody paperwork exists for the Election Day drop box ballots themselves, Honey reiterated to The Federalist. The judge did not consider this alleged violation of state law and ruled against Lake’s challenge, saying she failed to present clear and convincing evidence of widespread misconduct.

Arizona has an impossibly high bar for overturning elections on the grounds of misconduct, as the judge himself noted. Lake not only had to allege misconduct but intentional misconduct, such to affect the outcome of the election. Lake has since filed two appeals — one with an appeals court, the other with the Arizona Supreme Court. The appeals court agreed to expedite her case.

When asked about its alleged failure to implement chain-of-custody documentation for the Nov. 8 election, Communications Manager for the Maricopa County Elections Department Matthew Roberts told The Federalist: “There are robust tracking and security procedures in place to document and ensure proper chain-of-custody of early ballots on Election Day. These policies and procedures were followed on Election Day, as well as throughout the early voting period. At no point during the process were chain of custody policies broken or procedures not followed and documented.”

The Maricopa County Elections Department did not respond to The Federalist’s request for documentation of the chain-of-custody process for the Election Day drop box ballots.


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

John Daniel Davidson Op-ed: Ordinary Americans Are Going to Have to Save the Country Themselves, One Town at a Time


BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | DECEMBER 20, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/12/20/ordinary-americans-are-going-to-have-to-save-the-country-themselves-one-town-at-a-time/

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What can regular people do to take back their country from woke radicals? Take over local institutions, one at a time.

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One of the things I get asked from time to time by readers is, what can ordinary people on the right, Christians and conservatives, do to help save the country — besides voting on Election Day?

It’s a good question, and it comes from the very understandable feeling of helplessness many people feel about the direction of the country and, let’s be honest, the collapse of Western civilization that’s now well underway. It’s especially easy to get frustrated after an election cycle like the one we just had, in which Republican leaders thoroughly botched it and left things more or less where they were before the voting. Put another way, if voting doesn’t really change anything in our so-called democracy, what will?

There’s an answer to this question, but you’re not going to like it. The plain truth is this: You’re going to have to save the country yourselves. Donald Trump isn’t going to save it. Ron DeSantis isn’t going to save it. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that a GOP majority in Congress is going to save it.

By all means, keep voting in national elections. Keep making your voices heard at the ballot box. But salvation won’t come from Washington, D.C. If America is going to be saved, or even just parts of it are to be saved, then ordinary men and women, God-fearing patriots all across the country, are going to have to do it themselves, one town at a time. And they will have to do it the old-fashioned and unglamorous way, by taking over the local institutions of civic life, organizing and winning elections for city council and school board, finding reliable and competent people willing to be candidates and staff and volunteers. 

It’s going to be a long, thankless slog, but there’s no other way. Neither is there any guarantee of success. I speak here only of towns and suburbs, not of cities, many of which have become unlivable after decades of failed Democrat governance and leftist policies. Conservatives who can manage it should move to places where they can join with other like-minded Americans to take back their communities and instill a civic culture that reflects their beliefs.

We got into this situation through passivity, and only a sustained effort at the local level will get us out. For decades, conservatives did nothing while the left marched through academia — and then kept right on marching, down from their ivory tower and into the public square, into the schools, the libraries, corporate boardrooms, local police and fire departments, even the churches. These people have radical views far outside the American mainstream but nevertheless control all our institutions. If you want them back, you’ll have to take them back, post by post.

This is not the kind of thing the right likes to hear. By temperament and principle, conservatives would rather be left alone to run their businesses, raise their families, worship in their churches, and build up their charities and local communities. Unlike liberals and leftists, they tend not to be ideologues. They are not trying to fundamentally change the country. They mostly want to be left alone.

But of course, they will never be left alone. The woke radicals will never stop — until someone stops them. A kind of conservative radicalism, or at least activism, is going to be required to accomplish that.

A good example of what I’m talking about is playing out in the small central Texas town of Taylor, population about 17,000. Taylor, some 35 miles north of Austin, is a rather conservative place of the sort you can find all over the country. It recently made national headlines over its traditional Christmas parade; a longstanding town tradition organized by a coalition of local churches. Last year, organizers accidentally approved a parade float for a group calling itself Taylor Pride, which the parade committee naively mistook for the name of a group that was just proud of their town. What they got instead was a float featuring two men dressed in drag, dancing suggestively in what paradegoers assumed was going to be a family-friendly event.

Parents and attendees were understandably perturbed. To ensure it didn’t happen again, the consortium of local churches that runs the parade sensibly decided that this year, parade floats must be consistent with traditional biblical and family values. The point wasn’t to exclude any individuals or groups from attending or even participating, but to ensure the floats were family-friendly and not — like the Taylor Pride drag queen float — contrary to Christian teachings.

The City of Taylor responded by announcing it would stage its own separate LGBT-friendly “holiday” parade, on the same night as the traditional Christmas parade, on the same route, following right behind it. The decision was made not by the elected members of the city council, who are accountable to voters, but by the municipal staff who actually run things. There was no public notice or deliberation and no consultation beforehand with members of the city council. The municipal bureaucracy acted on its own authority to use (or rather misuse) public funds and resources to sponsor a parade that was wildly out of step with the community at large.

Kevin Stuart, a Taylor resident and assistant professor of political science at the University of St. Thomas, wrote about all this recently in The Wall Street Journal, noting that the problem in Taylor has deep historical roots. The outsourcing of decision-making to so-called experts has been happening in American towns and cities for more than a century, such that professional bureaucrats now run small towns across America like “ideological colonizers.”

“There is now a yawning ideological gap between the people who live in American towns and the professionalized cadre of city staff who pass through those towns on their way up the career ladder,” writes Stuart. He goes on to argue that residents of towns like Taylor are partly to blame for ceding too much political power to an expert class whose interests and values don’t align with the people they’re supposed to serve.

He’s right about that — and also about how “communities can’t remain strong if they are unwilling to defend common sense and get involved in the political process.” The lesson of Taylor’s dueling Christmas parades is that even in small, conservative towns in deep-red states like Texas, conservatives can’t be complacent. As I wrote last month about the Taylor fracas, there’s nowhere Christians can run and hide from the left. They have to stand and fight.

In Taylor, that means residents who until now might have never been involved in local politics will have to roll up their sleeves, give up some weekday evenings, and get involved. They will have to put up their own conservative candidates and vote out of office the city councilors who empowered a woke municipal bureaucracy. They will have to fire the cadre of leftist bureaucrats who run things and replace them with their own people. They might even have to change the city charter so that elected members of the city council actually do the work of the public in City Hall, not an unelected city manager who sees the job as merely a steppingstone to a bigger city.

The same goes for the library, the school board, and every other local institution in every American town like Taylor. Conservatives have to take them over if they can. To answer the question we began with, that is what ordinary people can do. And they have to start now. No one is coming to help, and time is running out. 


John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.

Dem Challenger Concedes to Lauren Boebert in Razor-Thin Colorado House Race


By: ARJUN SINGH, CONTRIBUTOR | November 18, 2022

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/11/18/lauren-boebert-colorado-house-race-recount/

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Democratic candidate Adam Frisch conceded to Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado Friday after a razor-thin House race that saw Boebert leading with just a few hundred votes.

As of Friday, Boebert led Frisch by 551 votes, which is a margin of 0.17% of the total votes cast, with 99% of precincts reporting. Frisch, in a Zoom call, said that “The voters have spoken…The likelihood of this recount changing more than a handful of votes is very, very small.”

Two remaining counties in the District have about 200 outstanding ballots, Ben Stout, Boebert’s communications director, told the Daily Caller News Foundation, who also confirmed that a recount is due to occur under state law. He noted that Boebert’s margin would still allow her to win, even if all ballots weren’t in her favor.

Boebert’s reelection campaign to a second House term had been unexpectedly competitive and illustrates a decline in support for her within the district, which has a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of R+7. In 2020, she defeated Rep. Scott Tipton in the district’s GOP primary by 9.2%, a major upset, which was the first time in 48 years an incumbent Colorado congressman had been defeated in a primary election.

Boebert was later elected by a 5.85% margin and joined the House Freedom Caucus upon election. She has been a strong ally of former President Donald Trump in the House, co-chairs the Second Amendment Caucus and has attracted attention for her Second Amendment advocacy, having first gained popularity after operating a restaurant, named “Shooter’s Grill,” where patrons were encouraged to carry firearms in public. (RELATED: Rep. Boebert Pushes To Ban Abortion Clinics On Federal Lands)

Additionally, Boebert faced controversy for interrupting President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in March 2022, shouting that “You put them in. Thirteen of them!” in relation to thirteen U.S. servicemembers killed during the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, the heckle occurring when Biden was discussing his son Beau’s death.

Frisch, an agricultural goods manufacturer, had made Boebert’s conduct as a Member a primary focus of the campaign, calling her “lying, self-serving, and morally compromised,” as well as claiming that she did not pay attention to local issues, and instead was obsessed with her popularity among conservatives nationally.

The race stood out in 2022’s midterm elections, where an incumbent and high-profile Republican representative was significantly challenged for their seat by a Democrat despite the GOP being forecast to win a majority. Though the Democrats flipped some House seats previously held by Republicans, their incumbents either lost primary challenges by Trump-backed candidates, such as Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington.

Wednesday was the deadline for voters in the district to resolve problems with mail-in ballots or their provisional ballot eligibility, as well as for precincts to receive overseas and military ballots, per NBC 9 News. County clerks must complete all counting by Friday, while the Secretary of State of Colorado must verify all results by Dec. 5 or order a recount. Under Colorado state elections law, a mandatory recount is conducted if the margin of victory is 0.5% or smaller.

Regardless of the race’s outcome, control of the House of Representatives in the next Congress has already been decided, with Republicans winning the required 218 seats for a majority.

Frisch did not respond to a request for comment.

The Big Midterm Lesson: Defensive ‘Victories’ on the Right Aren’t Going to Save The Country


BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | NOVEMBER 10, 2022

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/the-big-midterm-lesson-defensive-victories-on-the-right-arent-going-to-save-the-country-2658627186.html/

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Republicans won big in places where GOP leaders leaned into the culture war and passed abortion restrictions. That’s no accident.

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If there’s a clear lesson to come out of Tuesday night’s bizarre midterm election, it’s that Republicans can no longer be content with defensive victories or defensive politics. To win political power and do what must be done to save the country, Republicans will have to go on offense, present a compelling vision for the future, and engage culture war issues like abortion and critical race theory without apologies. 

When they do that, they win. But it stands in stark contrast to the perennial advice of Beltway GOP consultants, who think it best to avoid major culture war issues like abortion. Indeed, the “official narrative” of corporate media in the wake of Tuesday’s midterms is that abortion was a big winner for Democrats, who supposedly capitalized on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, successfully making abortion a major electoral issue and blunting a red wave by boosting turnout among young, pro-abortion voters. 

It sounds good, but it’s not quite right. Republicans who didn’t shy away from talking about abortion after Dobbs, and who signed into law abortion legislation earlier this year without flinching or apologizing, did really well — they were Tuesday night’s winners. As Marc Thiessen noted on Fox News, Republican governors in Ohio, Georgia, New Hampshire, Texas, and Florida all signed post-Dobbs abortion restrictions, and they all won reelection by comfortable margins. 

That’s not to say abortion was a non-factor. Democrats squeezed every last electoral drop they could out of Dobbsspending $320 million on abortion-related TV ads (much more than on all other issues combined) which helped motivate a voter base that might have otherwise been depressed.

Still, there was a clear contrast between Republicans who heeded the advice of Beltway consultants and tried to dodge abortion questions or take a noncommittal stance and those who defended their anti-abortion positions and pushed for post-Roe legislation. Only one of those groups fared well Tuesday.

The larger lesson here is that Republican candidates should lean into the culture war and make no apologies for their positions, even on contentious issues like abortion. Fighting back against the left, it turns out, is what a lot of voters on the right want from Republicans.

Consider what Ron DeSantis achieved in Florida, winning 60 percent of the vote after narrowly eking out a victory four years ago. He did that by not shying away from big, high-profile fights over hot-button culture war issues like critical race theory and transgender indoctrination. Glenn Youngkin did the same thing last November to pull off an upset in the Virginia governor’s race.

But DeSantis and Youngkin are, sadly, exceptions to the general rule that Republicans tend to be reactionary and defensive. Indeed, the failure of the conservative movement is largely attributable to this default defensiveness, and it needs to end. For decades, conservatives whined about just wanting to be left alone even as the radical left was marching through our institutions and transforming society, showing us at every turn they had no intention of leaving us alone. Yet some on the right still don’t seem to get it. On Tuesday morning, anticipating a red wave, Ben Shapiro tweeted: “The mandate for Republicans will be to stop Biden’s terrible agenda dead. It will not be to make very loud but tactically foolish moves.”

Shapiro didn’t specify what he meant by “very loud but tactically foolish moves,” but he followed it up with this:

Sorry, but the era of normalcy and being left alone is over. The left will never leave us alone. They want to win and wield power, and if we want to stop them, we will have to win and wield power ourselves. Conservatives who want to be left alone will simply lose, as they have been for decades now.

Those like Shapiro who long to be left alone are also apt to argue that the conservative project has been moderately successful over the years, moving slowly to notch wins. Look at Dobbs. Look at religious liberty and the Second Amendment. Look at all the good judges appointed to the federal bench during the Trump administration.

But this is a cope. Yes, there have been a few victories for conservatives. The Dobbs decision was the greatest policy victory of the conservative cause in a generation, and it was due mostly to the dogged work of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, two institutions often unfairly maligned as “Conservative, Inc.” by the New Right, and — at least before Dobbs dropped — dismissed as failures.

Yet even the Dobbs decision was a defensive victory, handed down like a gift from on high by the Supreme Court. But it didn’t end legal abortion, and indeed the ruling itself bent over backward to avoid the broader implications of its own constitutional logic, which, as Justice Clarence Thomas explained in his concurring opinion, calls into question the constitutionality of substantive due process and the long train of Supreme Court rulings that have followed its invention more than a century ago.

As Dobbs itself suggests, defensive victories delivered by the federal judiciary aren’t going to reverse what has been, with few setbacks, a relentless, decades-long march by the left through every institution of American life. Anyone who tells you things aren’t that bad because we happen to have five mostly reliable Supreme Court justices is either delusional or quietly willing to acquiesce to leftist tyranny.

They’re probably also inclined to think Republicans didn’t really do so bad in the midterms, and that what Americans really want is just some tinkering with Social Security and the welfare state. Nothing too loud and tactically foolish. That’s more or less Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s plan if he becomes speaker of the House. After all, the country just wants to heal.

No. The country does not want to heal. It does not want “some semblance of normalcy.” There are two diametrically opposed moral systems at war right now in America, and it’s not enough at this late hour to be content with the status quo, to repose in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and hope the five good justices will somehow stop the revolutionaries.  

Just look at the successful pro-abortion midterm referendums in Michigan, Vermont, and California, where the right to kill the unborn is now enshrined in those states’ constitutions. What’s true of the abortion issue is true of nearly every other major issue in American public life. Being passive and defensive is not going to cut it. If Republicans want to win, they’d better be willing to fight. Let’s hope they are. The future of the republic depends on it.


John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.

Media Can’t Fathom Why ‘Democracy’ Wasn’t A Top Concern for Voters Who Spent Their Day Doing the Whole Democracy Thing


BY: KYLEE GRISWOLD | NOVEMBER 08, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/08/media-cant-fathom-why-democracy-wasnt-a-top-concern-for-voters-who-spent-their-day-doing-the-whole-democracy-thing/

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Democracy was never on the ballot. Everyone who participated in the democratic process on Tuesday knows it.

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Election results hadn’t even started rolling in yet when the Very Smart People covering election night for CNN began making fools of themselves with their go-to 2022 talking point: democracy on the ballot.

The numbers in these [exit polls] do not line up with what we were seeing in the polling data going into this election about what people cared about and the order in which they ranked it,” announced the network’s Chief National Affairs Analyst Kasie Hunt, stating what was obvious to anyone who understands that polls aren’t primarily designed to reflect public opinion; they’re intended to shape it to benefit Democrats and rack up donor dollars. 

If CNN’s out-of-touch poll analysis is a joke, then the punchline came from CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash: “And you know what’s missing from this — one, two, three, four, five — top-five issues? Democracy. It’s not even in here.”

It’s not shocking that “democracy” doesn’t crack the top list of issues on the minds of voters, who care far more about how much it cost them in gas money just to get to their polling place and what gender-bending nonsense their kids could be learning in math class at the very moment they were casting their ballots. What is shocking is that the media elites nestled inside the Acela Corridor and D.C. Beltway ever thought Americans were buying the “democracy under threat” propaganda they were selling. Of course, “democracy” is not a top issue for a voter who has just finished casting a ballot — the most fundamental way he participates in democracy.

As President Joe Biden and his administrative state ran the country into the ground in the midterm lead-up, voters repeatedly voiced their concerns loud and clear. Americans suffering under unsustainable gas prices and grocery bills have consistently cited inflation as their No. 1 issue, followed by the economy and jobs generally, and then the humanitarian crisis at the southern border that’s been seeping into non-border states. Out-of-control crime and drugs are next on the list, with the left trying and failing to scare Americans into worrying above all else about a woman’s “right” to kill her preborn child and about “democracy.”

Add to those concerns Americans’ exasperation with the sexualization of their kids in schools funded by their own tax dollars, the continued dumping of beaucoup bucks into a foreign war and even more to satisfy climate alarmists, and nagging memories of the deadly Afghanistan withdrawal, Covid tyranny, and every time Democrats feigned “nothing to see here” for an incoherent Biden. Election Day motivations are no mystery.

As The Federalist’s Senior Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland wrote this week, “It’s difficult to say whether the ‘democracy at risk’ pitch speaks more of desperation or of stupidity, but either way, the promotion of this buzz-phrase in the final days of the election season proves an implicit acknowledgment that it is Democrats who are at risk in Tuesday’s election. … A red wave will not be an end to our representative democracy. It will just be an end to the Democrat representatives.”

If the media really cared about democracy, they would be talking about Maricopa County in the battleground state of Arizona, where the Democrat in charge of running elections is on the ticket for governor and untold Election Day voters (which skew overwhelmingly Republican, as opposed to mostly blue early voters) may have been prevented from casting a ballot due to machine issues. If they were really worried about threats to democracy, they would stop “election denying” and concocting wild conspiracies whenever they lose. And they’d stop shattering voter confidence by pushing mass mail-in balloting and laughing about Election Day turning into election month.

Though the left fantasized otherwise, many things about the 2022 election were obvious from the start: Pollsters would be wrong, Roe would be overemphasized, Trump candidates would overperform, Beto O’Rourke was never going to happen — and democracy was never on the ballot. CNN is just catching up.


Kylee Griswold is the editorial director of The Federalist. She previously worked as the copy editor for the Washington Examiner magazine and as an editor and producer at National Geographic. She holds a B.S. in Communication Arts/Speech and an A.S. in Criminal Justice and writes on topics including feminism and gender issues, religion, and the media. Follow her on Twitter @kyleezempel.

Democrats Are Not Going to Relinquish Power Peacefully


BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | NOVEMBER 08, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/08/democrats-are-not-going-to-relinquish-power-peacefully/

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A political party convinced the country faces an existential crisis if its opponents win at the ballot box is a threat to democracy.

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The 2022 election results aren’t that hard to predict. Republicans will win and they’ll win big. The only questions on that front are how large will GOP majorities be in the House and Senate, and how many governor’s mansions will the GOP control? Will the red wave be a tsunami or just a massive breaker?

Beyond the numbers game, the larger question looming over this midterm cycle is why, at a time when inflation and the economy are top concerns for the vast majority of Americans, did Democrats choose to run mostly on abortion extremism and hysterical fearmongering about “threats to democracy” — issues that appeal to a rather narrow, left-wing slice of the American electorate that already reliably votes Democratic?

Why didn’t Democrats at least pretend to care about ordinary things like the rising cost of groceries and gas, worsening crime in major cities, and a looming economic recession? It’s one thing for President Biden and Democratic Party leaders in Congress to refuse to address these things as a matter of policy. But it’s quite another thing to refuse even to acknowledge that these are real concerns for most Americans right now.

One would think that simply on the basis of crude self-interest — say, clinging to their razor-thin majority — they would muster the will to pretend to care and at least pledge to tackle these issues, even if they’re lying. But they could not even do that. Why?

The answer doesn’t bode well for the country. Yes, Republicans will carry the day, retire Nancy Pelosi, and shatter the career aspirations of an entire cohort of middle-aged Democrat politicians like Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams. But that’s only half the story, and maybe not the most important half.

Democrats’ inability to moderate even a little bit, their unwillingness to snap awake to reality and respond to voters with some measure of empathy, however small, is of course a consequence of the party’s capture by its radical left-wing base. (Henry Olsen had a good line related to this in The Washington Post recently: “[T]oday’s Democratic Party increasingly looks like the Depression-era Republican Party, which consisted of powerful elites who lost touch with the working-class majority.”)

The danger comes when Democrats refuse to accept that they have no mandate from the people to remain in power, and inevitably seek some other justification for clinging to it. For all their talk of “threats to democracy” from Republican “election deniers” — one of the most asinine political epithets of our era, by the way — it’s Democrats who pose the real threat. This cycle has made it clear that they are not trying to forge a majority coalition. Their appeal is exclusive to left-leaning, college-educated voters and the woke institutions and corporations these people now control. That might be a minority coalition, but it’s such a powerful one that it opens new possibilities to scheming Democrats: that there are other ways than winning elections to gain and retain power.

The mumblings of President Biden about “ending coal” and fossil fuels, saving democracy from insurrectionist election deniers, affirming the radical agenda of the transgender lobby, and championing abortion extremism are no accident, however confused the president might otherwise be about where he is and what’s going on. They are, in effect, signals to the elite power base in American society, and they are meant to convey reassurance: we’ve got your back, ordinary Americans be damned.

In the face of a massive electoral loss, then, do you really think a political party that has aligned itself with elite interests and woke morality, that controls the White House and the administrative bureaucracy, that is supported by corporate media and Big Tech (with the recent exception of Elon Musk’s Twitter) is going to simply relinquish that power? Hand it over to the very people it has been decrying as the destroyers of our democracy? Allow someone like Donald Trump ever to get near the White House again?

No, of course not. What Democrats did in the six months leading up to the 2020 election — not just the rioting and looting, but the rigging or “fortifying” of the election through lawsuits and coordinated online censorship — should be understood as a dry run. The Democrats will use every executive branch agency, every tool of law enforcement, every malign demonstration of force at their disposal to remain in power, or at least to deprive real power from Republicans. 

Even before Trump won the 2016 election, we know the FBI began crafting an “insurance policy,” the Russia collusion hoax, in case he won. Recall, too, how every major Democrat denounced Trump as “illegitimate” after he won, how left-wing street thugs rioted in major cities, how elected Democrats managed to hobble Trump’s presidency through endless investigations and a frivolous impeachment. And above all, we saw how they were determined not to let the same thing happen in 2020. And it didn’t.

Keep that in mind as the midterm results roll in this week (and next). There’s a reason Democrats and the corporate media have been pushing hard the message that we won’t know the results of key races for days, maybe weeks. It’s not just about counting absentee ballots, it’s about getting the rigging in place, either to claim victory or deny the legitimacy of the vote. Whatever Democrats say they fear Republican “election deniers” might do, they themselves are preparing to do the same or worse.

A political party that has convinced itself the country faces an existential crisis if its opponents win at the ballot box, and that doesn’t even pretend to serve anyone other than its base of college-educated leftists, is a toxic combination. Such a party is of course incapable of winning a majority, but it’s also incapable of relinquishing power, which makes it by far the greatest threat to democracy our country now faces. 


John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.

PA Supreme Court Deals Huge Election Victory: Undated Mail-In Ballots Cannot Be Counted


BY: VICTORIA MARSHALL | NOVEMBER 02, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/02/pa-supreme-court-deals-huge-election-victory-undated-mail-in-ballots-cannot-be-counted/

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that undated mail-in and absentee ballots cannot be counted — a major win for election integrity just a week before Election Day of the 2022 midterms.

The ruling directs Pennsylvania county boards of elections to “segregate and preserve any ballots contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes” for the Nov. 8 general election but to refrain from counting them. This decision directly contradicts the Keystone State’s Democrat acting secretary of the commonwealth, Leigh Chapman, who told counties to ignore a previous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that effectively said undated mail-in ballots should not be counted. The Republican National Committee and the Pennsylvania GOP immediately announced a lawsuit in response.

The RNC and the state GOP argued that Chapman’s directive violated state law, as Pennsylvania requires voters to properly date their ballots. In fact, mail-in ballots for this election cycle even contain wording that reads “today’s date required” and clear instructions for voters to “sign and date” their ballots. Under Chapman’s instructions, some of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties would have followed her lead while others would have followed state law and clear ballot instructions, tainting the election with inconsistencies and chaos. The RNC asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court at least to order counties to segregate undated or incorrectly dated ballots.

“Following an RNC, NRCC, and PAGOP lawsuit, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has made clear that incorrectly dated and undated mail ballots can not be counted,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said. “Republicans went to court, and now Democrats and all counties have to follow the law: this is a milestone in Republicans’ ongoing efforts to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat in Pennsylvania and nationwide.”

This legal victory by the RNC follows two other recent wins: one against Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for restricting the rights of poll challengers and another against the North Carolina State Board of Elections for restricting poll watchers.

“Election integrity begins by following the law, and this decision is a big win for Pennsylvanians,” Jason Snead, the executive director of the Honest Elections Project, said in a statement. “Pennsylvania law clearly requires that every mail ballot be dated and signed. That simple, straightforward rule helps to stop late and illegal voting without burdening anyone’s right to vote.”


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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Flint, Mich. Clerk Resigns After Elections Group Calls Out Lopsided Number Of Democrat Poll Watchers


BY: VICTORIA MARSHALL | SEPTEMBER 23, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/23/flint-mich-clerk-resigns-after-elections-group-calls-out-lopsided-number-of-democrat-poll-watchers/

Flint city clerk Inez Brown

Flint, Michigan’s longtime city clerk is retiring after an election integrity group sent a letter to her office demanding she balance out the number of Democrat and Republican election inspectors. 

On Sept. 6, Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME) and attorney Erick Kaardal of the Thomas More Society sent a demand letter to Flint and City Clerk Inez Brown threatening legal action if they do not balance out the number of partisan poll watchers before the November general election. As previously reported, during Flint’s Aug. 2 primary, the city hired 422 Democrats compared to just 27 Republican election inspectors — in direct violation of a Michigan state statute that requires equal representation of party election inspectors. 

On Sept. 8, Brown, after serving as Flint’s city clerk for 25 years, abruptly announced her resignation effective Sept. 30 — roughly one month before the November election. Brown gave no reason for her resignation and caught city officials by surprise.

“My administrative office was taken by surprise,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley told the Flint Beat. “I had no foreknowledge of this occurring this soon.” Because of Brown’s resignation, Neeley reached out to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office for help running the city’s elections. Benson is up for re-election this year, raising questions about the ethics of her involvement in Flint’s elections.

“Can her office be considered impartial in running the elections in Flint?” Patrice Johnson, chair of PIME told The Federalist. “The law states that if you are running for office, you cannot be an election inspector in the precinct in which you’re running.” 

Despite such questions, Johnson sees Brown’s resignation as a step in the right direction. Brown’s tenure as Flint city clerk has led to multiple controversies, including giving mayoral candidates the wrong filing deadline in 2015 and alleged failure to process absentee ballots

“The pressure we’ve put on the city led to this,” Johnson said. “This is a HUGE win.” 

Regardless of Brown’s resignation, Johnson expects Flint to fully comply with PIME’s demand letter and balance its number of partisan election inspectors in time for the November election.

“In a state with more than 7 million registered voters, and where an election inspector need not live in the precinct in which they work, there is no excuse for an unhealthy imbalance of workers at our township and municipal elections,” she said.


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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Is the red wave crashing? Polling expert says critical ‘warning sign is flashing again’ — and it’s not good for Dems

CHRIS ENLOE | September 14, 2022

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/red-wave-polling-expert-warning-signs-dems/

As the 2022 midterm election nears, polls increasingly indicate that Democrats will be more competitive than previously thought. The red tsunami, which once looked menacing, now appears to be nothing more than a small ripple. But polling expert Nate Cohn explained this week a key “warning sign is flashing again,” suggesting polls are overestimating Democrats’ prospects.

Jen Psaki, the former White House press secretary turned MSNBC employee, claimed Tuesday that election forecasts have “flipped,” now showing Democrats in the driver’s seat less than two months from Election Day. Indeed, polls are increasingly showing Democrats may not lose control of the Senate and potentially even the House. But those polls do not tell the whole story.

Cohn wrote in the New York Times that ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden was outperforming then-President Donald Trump in many of the same regions of the country where polls overestimated support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Such overestimation in favor of Democrats appears to be happening again.

“That warning sign is flashing again: Democratic Senate candidates are outrunning expectations in the same places where the polls overestimated Mr. Biden in 2020 and Mrs. Clinton in 2016,” Cohn wrote.

Cohn highlighted one Senate race in particular — Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s battle against Democrat Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin — as a potential bellwether for bad polling after a recent Marquette Law School poll showed Barnes leading Johnson by a significant margin of 7 points.

Cohn explained:

But in this case, good for Wisconsin Democrats might be too good to be true. The state was ground zero for survey error in 2020, when pre-election polls proved to be too good to be true for Mr. Biden. In the end, the polls overestimated Mr. Biden by about eight percentage points. Eerily enough, Mr. Barnes is faring better than expected by a similar margin.

The Wisconsin data is just one example of a broader pattern across the battlegrounds: The more the polls overestimated Mr. Biden last time, the better Democrats seem to be doing relative to expectations. And conversely, Democrats are posting less impressive numbers in some of the states where the polls were fairly accurate two years ago, like Georgia.

When Cohn plotted the places where polls overestimated Democrats, he discovered a “consistent link between Democratic strength today and polling error two years ago.” According to Cohn, “persistent and unaddressed biases” in survey methodology — like nonresponse bias — is causing pollsters to derive misleading polls. What this means practically, he explained, is that what appears to be Democratic strength in the run-up to the election could actually be nothing more than a “mirage.”

If the same polling errors from previous elections persist this year, Republicans will handily win the House and could even take control of the Senate.

If Big Tech Isn’t Regulated Before 2024, The Election Will Be Rigged Again


BY: SAMUEL MANGOLD-LENETT | AUGUST 17, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/17/if-big-tech-isnt-regulated-before-2024-the-election-will-be-rigged-again/

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In a recently published blog post, Twitter announced its plans to “protect” political discourse ahead of the upcoming U.S. midterm elections by reaffirming its commitment to its “Civic Integrity Policy.” Given Silicon Valley’s tendency to suppress conservative speech while emboldening leftist causes, it is all but certain this policy will be used exclusively for right-wing censorship. And considering the impracticality of introducing regulations prior to the 2022 midterms, the Republican Party must make regulating Big Tech a top priority in order to ensure the integrity of the 2024 presidential election.

According to Twitter, its Civic Integrity Policy “covers the most common types of harmful misleading information about elections and civic events” by flagging “misleading content” and, in some cases, outright suppressing content that contains “false or misleading claim[s].” But, with recent history as a guide, we can see that Twitter does not enforce this policy honestly.

In 2020, just weeks before the presidential election, Twitter suppressed discussion of Hunter Biden’s laptop. The company went so far as to prevent users from sharing the New York Post story exposing the scandal with one another, claiming that its circulation violated the company’s policy on spreading information obtained via hacking. Coincidentally, Twitter did nothing to stop the circulation of leaked copies of Donald Trump’s tax filings

Why does this matter?

Twitter justified its suppression of speech that favored a Republican incumbent by falsely designating it as ill-begotten misinformation while simultaneously doing nothing to crack down on the likely illegally obtained information that damaged the same incumbent’s reputation among the electorate. 

It just so happens that by suppressing negative stories about Joe Biden, Big Tech may have handed him the election as 82 percent of Biden voters in seven swing states were unaware of all of the scandals attached to him. Seventeen percent of these voters said that knowledge of these scandals before voting would have caused them to change their vote.

The company’s integrity policy was applied in ways that specifically targeted speech favorable to the Republican Party. By censoring this speech, Twitter played a direct role in Joe Biden’s ascension to the presidency.

Social media’s utility is largely the provision of a digital town square where people can share information with other people. So, ethically, ought companies that monetize user data obtained from speech-centric platforms not protect speech?

But more importantly, considering how often Big Tech platforms such as Twitter act on behalf of the federal government, they must be held accountable for violating the First Amendment rights of American users. Corporations that function as extensions of the government must be compelled to uphold the constitutional protections of American citizens. 

In a July 2021 briefing, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explicitly stated that the Biden administration intended to collaborate with Big Tech to “monitor misinformation more closely” and “proactively address the public’s questions without inadvertently giving a platform to health misinformation that can harm their audiences.” She also acknowledged that the White House intended to reign in counter-regime narratives by “bringing individuals and organizations together to address misinformation.” The White House was so effective at persuading Big Tech to crack down on narratives in opposition to its own that social media companies deplatformed journalists who were too effective at asking questions about Biden’s Covid strategy and Covid vaccine efficacy. 

Agents of the government must be subject to the U.S. Constitution and prevented from infringing on the rights of American citizens. And despite what tech executives will say when testifying before Congress, these companies are politically motivated and serve the interests of the political left. Is there any question as to whether Big Tech plans to mobilize in favor of Democrats again in 2024? 

It is far too late — and politically impossible — for congressional Republicans to introduce regulatory legislation that would reign in social media platforms like Twitter before the 2022 midterm elections. So, upon reclaiming control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the GOP must act to secure digital free speech ahead of the 2024 presidential election.


Samuel Mangold-Lenett is a staff editor at The Federalist. His writing has been featured in the Daily Wire, Townhall, The American Spectator, and other outlets. He is a 2022 Claremont Institute Publius Fellow. Follow him on Twitter @Mangold_Lenett.

Mexican President Vows to Influence American Elections


REPORTED BY DIANA GLEBOVA, ASSOCIATE EDITOR | June 07, 2022

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/06/07/mexican-president-vows-to-influence-american-elections/

Lopez Obrador Morning Briefing
(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed he would be willing to influence the rhetoric surrounding the U.S. midterm elections if any candidate were to speak poorly about Mexicans, while speaking on his desire about the U.S. reforming its immigration system.

“We are not going to allow Mexican migrants to be questioned in campaigns to supposedly win votes, we do not accept xenophobia, we do not accept racism,” he said at a May 20 press conference, referencing the U.S. November elections. He noted that his policy is “non-intervention and self-determination.”

“And if a party, candidates, thinking that if they speak ill of the Mexican, they are going to get votes, well, from here we are going to denounce those facts so that our countrymen over there know who is who,” he added, warning that there are over 40 million Mexicans in the U.S.

He compared the number of Mexicans to the 4 million Cubans in the U.S., saying Cubans “have great influence in guiding U.S. policies in relation to the rest of the world.”

In April, the Mexican president told Americans of Mexican and Latino descent to not vote for parties or candidates that “mistreat” Mexico or other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to Reuters.

“When someone goes too far and causes offence, we’ll call them out so that our countrymen help us. Because there are 40 million of us,” he added in April. “Don’t forget your origins.”

He also praised former President Barack Obama’s “commitment” to immigration reform in 2012 in his May speech and mentioned that President Joe Biden was vice president at the time. (RELATED: Mexican President Snubs Biden’s Invite To Summit Of The Americas)

Obama announced his decision to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants in 2012, and was applauded by then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, according to CNN. He also campaigned on a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who spoke English, had not committed a crime and were willing to pay a fine, according to Politifact.

López Obrador announced Monday he would not be attending the Summit of the Americas, an event hosted by Biden and focusing on the migration crisis, later this week. He cited Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua’s exclusion from the event as his reason for boycotting the event, according to The Associated Press.

Democrats’ Culture War is Destroying Their Ability to Govern Competently Enough to Fool Voters


REPORTED BY: NATHANAEL BLAKE | APRIL 25, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/25/democrats-culture-war-is-destroying-their-ability-to-govern-competently-enough-to-fool-voters/

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New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently claimed to be “truly shocked” by a poll showing President Biden with a 33 percent approval rating. I was shocked, too — how could his approval rating be that high?

Blow, of course, is surprised at Biden’s unpopularity, and worried that the Democrats are stumbling into a bloodbath in the November midterms. Blow is paid to understand and explain politics and culture to his readers. That he is surprised reveals a lot about the bubble he is in. And his meandering analysis of Democrats’ problems illustrates how the ideology making Democrats unpopular is also preventing them from understanding why they are unpopular.

Blow initially blames Biden — for being too much of a “decent man … sober and straightforward” rather than a “showman.” This is a ludicrous assessment of a politician, who, until age caught up with his tongue, was one of D.C.’s preeminent bloviators. Nonetheless, Blow’s ordinary partisan delusion is less interesting than the ideological blind spots revealed when he turns to genuine sources of Biden’s unpopularity, such as “the fear of crime and the pinch of inflation” and that “Republicans are playing heavily into culture war issues.”

Class and Culture Wars Merge

Although Blow does not seem to realize it, these issues combine to reinforce voters’ disapproval of Biden. Democratic failures on bread and butter issues such as crime and inflation are related to the culture-war radicalism that has captured their party. Twitter, not the blue-collar union hall, is now the heart of the Democratic Party, which is controlled by the educated, urban professional-managerial class, epitomized by woke, union-busting CEOs. This faction has merged the class and culture wars — championing cultural radicalism, entrenching its own economic interests, and neglecting the common good.

The Democrats are the party of wealthy diversity consultants lecturing hourly workers about white privilege and cis-heteropatriarchy while inflation eats away at wages and investment firms buy up homes in the hope of making America a nation of permanent renters. The governing priorities of those running the Democratic Party are sending government money to their clients (from teachers unions to Planned Parenthood) and waging culture war.

Dems Are Fanatical Culture Warriors

And they are fanatical culture warriors. Consider Blow’s complaint that the GOP is “challenging the teaching of Black history and the history of white supremacy in schools, as well as restricting discussions of L.G.B.T. issues and campaigning against trans women and girls competing in sports with other women and girls.” He adds that “Republicans are using white parental fear, particularly the fears of white moms.”

This litany of whines highlights the bubble Blow and his audience at The New York Times are in. Ordinary Americans know the difference between teaching history and teaching poisonous ideology derived from critical race theory. Americans understand that it is unjust for males to compete in women’s sports, and that it is perverse to teach young children about sex and gender ideology. They are angry when educators encourage children to transition, and outraged when they hide it from parents.

Voters have also noticed that the cultural left never stops where it says it will. We were assured that the LGBT movement was about tolerance for consenting adult relationships; now it is about transgender toddlers, child drag queens, and men in girls’ locker rooms. We are also now told that being anti-racist somehow means judging people based on the color of their skin. Blow and other bubbled liberals may be okay with mastectomies for confused teenage girls, but most Americans are not.

This cultural radicalism erodes Democrats’ ability to govern competently. Sometimes this is the result of neglecting the basic tasks of government in order to prioritize boutique cultural issues, other times it is a direct consequence of ideology, as exemplified in the crime wave resulting from woke prosecutors and defunding the police.

Cushioned from Consequences

In either case, wokeness is an ideology for those who are cushioned from its consequences. Indeed, wokeness is primarily a phenomenon of the college-educated, and especially the well-off; it is a niche, luxury political philosophy that thrives among the privileged and in the shelter of academia.

But though it is often a political liability, there are ways it serves the interests of its adherents. In particular, woke ideology legitimates the rule of the woke over the non-woke, and justifies economic exploitation and socio-political repression. Wokeness claims to reveal the systems of unjust oppression that permeate society; it focuses on race, sex, and gender, and relegates economic class to a second-tier concern. This allows many of the privileged and powerful to claim to be righteous allies of the oppressed without having to sacrifice economic or social power or position. Indeed, many can claim to be oppressed themselves. This is why wokeness tends to focus on BIPoC and LGBT representation in boardrooms and Ivy League campuses, rather than helping the working class.

The Wicked Working Class

Thus, it is to be expected that woke discourse often suggests that the working class (especially working-class whites) have it coming for their sins of racism, sexism, transphobia, and so on — the wicked deserve punishment, not sympathy. This is why pundits such as Blow are so quick to accuse dissenters of racism and bigotry. And it is why the woke left supports oligarchic power in pursuit of its aims, and eagerly uses economic, technological, and cultural power to suppress dissent.

This is why professors are having to submit woke loyalty oaths in the form of diversity statements, and why mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training has become the norm in the corporate world. This is why the left is eager to use social media censorship to suppress “misinformation” — which in many cases is truth that is inconvenient to the regime (e.g., the Hunter Biden laptop story).

It is also why the left cannot understand its own failures. They have isolated themselves in a bubble that has drifted so far from reality and the concerns of normal voters that even electoral disaster may not bring them back to Earth. Cocooned in privilege and ideology, they think Biden is doing just fine. But most Americans have had enough of a government that is more committed to transitioning children than to controlling crime and inflation.


Nathanael Blake is a senior contributor to The Federalist and a postdoctoral fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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