In the Washington Post, Dan Balz and Marianna Sotomayor provide a “global” assessment of what is driving the midterm elections. They note that seven of the last eight elections have been “elections of change” in a meaningful way, pointing to deeper challenges to our democracy. The list of details for 2022 is unsurprising: inflation, exhaustion from the fight against COVID-19, disgust at the political gridlock in DC all top the list. Some Democrats think abortion politics will come to their rescue, but the districts where they must hold beleaguered seats are not ultra-liberal districts and the party’s extremism on the issue may hurt Democrats, not help them. .
Also, in the Washington Post, a report on voter turnout in the primaries in Georgia, where 800,000 people have already voted, three times the number of people who voted in the last midterm primaries. The turnout comes despite a new law that restricted access to voting, for example, banning early in-person voting on Sundays when Souls to the Polls efforts were being conducted. One of the iron laws of politics, seen here and in the reaction to the impending overthrow of deeris: people will fight if you try to take away something that was previously given to them as a right.
On the politics blog “Mischiefs of Faction,” Catholic University politics professor Matthew Green analyzes how crucial Donald Trump’s endorsements of GOP primary candidates matter. The short answer: in some cases, endorsement matters, especially in a multi-candidate field with no obvious frontrunner; but an endorsement alone will not save a bad candidate. Last week, one of Trump’s congressional nominees in North Carolina and his gubernatorial pick in Idaho both lost, and his Senate pick in Pennsylvania is in a fit of hysterics. Yet, as long as people think Trump’s influence is great, that influence is substantial.
At Politico, Natalie Allison looks at one particular example of the effects of a Trump endorsement – and his decision to rescind an endorsement! In today’s Alabama GOP Senate primary, Trump initially endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks, one of the leaders in efforts to void the 2020 election, but later withdrew his endorsement. Brooks fell in the polls, but a series of attack announcements targeting candidate Mike Durant, who benefited from Brooks’ decline, muddied the race and Brooks is up in the polls again. A good reminder that primary contests are always subject to a variety of forces.
In the New York Times, a look at the current political crisis in Israel, where a member of the government coalition resigned from the government and then joined it. Given that the government holds the narrowest margins, the resignation of Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, a Palestinian member of the leftist Meretz party, would have brought down the government and prompted new elections. In parliamentary governments, coalition formation occurs after elections, whereas here, coalition formation occurs within the two major parties during the primary season. Both methods have definite advantages over each other — and disadvantages.
At Christianity Today, Russell Moore reflects on the recently released report by the Southern Baptist Convention about the group’s cover-up of sexual abuse allegations over many years and in numerous instances. He writes that, “as grim as I was from the SBC Executive Committee, the investigation reveals a far more diabolical and systemic reality than I imagined”. Moore has proven before that he is prepared to stand against some powerful forces within his own religious tradition and here his analysis is powerful in both analysis and empathy. And the report proves that efforts to blame the Catholic sex abuse crisis on homosexuality or celibate clergy were misplaced.