Monday Edition


1. A Partial List of the Week’s GOP Chaos

The default state of the modern Republican Party is turmoil, as events from the past week make clear. (Salon)

  • Speaker chaos: Just a few months after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ousting, Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene has filed a motion to vacate his successor, Mike Johnson.

  • Dropouts and defections: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski hinted at leaving the GOP. Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher announced he’s resigning early, shrinking Republicans’ tiny House majority even further. Disgraced former congressman George Santos said he’ll run as an independent because he’s embarrassed by the GOP.

  • Ronna McDaniel: After NBC News’ controversial hiring of the former Republican National Committee chair, McDaniel said during a “Meet the Press” interview there was “tension” between the RNC and the Trump campaign.

  • WTF is going on in conservative media: The Daily Wire cut ties with popular commentator and podcast host Candace Owens, who suggested in a series of social media posts she was being censored and persecuted because of her Christianity. Over the past year, Owens has been accused of making antisemitic remarks on a number of occasions as her rhetoric’s gotten increasingly provocative … and weird:

2. Why It’s Bad That Most “Experts” Are Libs

As concerns about misinformation ramp up ahead of the 2024 election, Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg has pointed out most experts in the field lean liberal. (NBC News)

Lomborg resurfaced a 2023 survey from the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review which found, “Experts leaned strongly toward the left of the political spectrum.”

The leftward bias of experts isn’t unique to the disinformation industry. Whether it’s journalists, physicians or academics, these days the most authoritative voices in nearly every field are becoming more liberal.

The reasons for the trend are complex but it all goes hand in hand with major institutions becoming more liberal. Whatever the cause, it’s almost certainly a bad thing a vast majority of our experts fall on one side of the ideological divide. Bloomberg columnist Matt Yglesias says it’s made it tougher for both sides to separate fact from fiction.

Yglesias: “I'm not sure I have a full model of how this works, but the situation where nearly 100% of credentialed experts are Democrats seems to me to have made both parties' epistemics worse than they were 20 years ago.”

Bubba’s Two Cents: It makes sense that if only one side controls what's considered "truth," it hurts everyone's ability to find real facts. Left-leaning experts are stuck in an echo chamber and rarely questioned on their biases, which leads them to overlook valid information if it's from the opposite side. Meanwhile, since conservatives are often left out of the mainstream expert conversation, it's easier for people on their side to view anyone as a credible source. The lack of a vetting process on the right lets in a lot of weirdos and crazies.

3. How Fentanyl Could Make/Break the Election

Fentanyl is already a big topic in American politics, but some electoral realities could make it an even bigger issue this year. (Bloomberg)

Why? Voters in key 2024 election states really care about the fentanyl problem.

  • 8 out of 10 voters in seven swing states rank it as a key issue for deciding their votes.

  • Fentanyl misuse ranks above concerns like abortion and climate change in voter priorities.

The scale of the problem is concerning. Nearly 270,000 people have died from synthetic opioid overdoses since November 2019.

Since President Biden took office, over 100 million pounds of fentanyl and 150 million fentanyl-laced pills have been seized.

Bubba’s Two Cents: Add this to the list of political vulnerabilities for Biden, who continues to trail Trump in most polls. Voters already see Trump as better at tackling the issues they care about most (the economy, immigration). It’s still early days, but the alarm bells are ringing loudly for the president’s reelection hopes.

4. Latinx Sums Up Dems’ Approach to Latinos

President Biden has quietly dropped “Latinx,” a term used by Democrats in a misguided attempt to appeal to Latinos. (CBS News)

Progressives use Latinx as a gender-neutral or nonbinary alternative to “Latino” or “Latina.” But a small number of U.S. Hispanics are even aware of the word. And a 2020 Gallup poll found only 3% of American Latinos use it.

Biden and his fellow Democrats’ methods for courting Latinos haven’t been subtle.

  • The Biden campaign has launched a "Latinos con Biden-Harris" initiative to engage and train Latino supporters in crucial battleground states.

  • Biden targeted affordable housing issues during his recent visits to Arizona and Nevada, areas with significant Latino populations.

  • The campaign introduced bilingual ads in English, Spanish, and Spanglish, as part of a $30 million media effort aimed at minority-owned outlets.

The Trump campaign hasn’t done anything like that as of yet, CBS News reported this week.

The results? Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority in America, historically voting for Democrats but showing increasing support for Republicans.

  • Trump gained approximately 90,000 Latino voters in Arizona between 2016 and 2020.

  • In 2020: non-college-educated Latinos swung 11 percentage points to the right, and Trump's share among 18- to 29-year-old Latinos rose from 21% to 31%.

  • Trump's appeal among Hispanic voters appears to be growing, with polls indicating he could secure even more Latino support in 2024 than in 2020.

Bubba’s Two Cents: What is the subtext of Biden versus Trump’s approaches to Latino voters? One way to see it is that Biden is treating them as Latinos, whereas Trump is treating them like every other American.

5. One for the Road

Bubba’s Two Cents: If you’re interested, the left-leaning news outlet Vox did a pretty decent job documenting how the GOP turned Florida red.

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