The dominant story of the Western left in the last two years has been decline from the high watermark of post-crash electoral radicalism. From Syriza to Podemos, parties have fallen short of either winning power or delivering in office — or, in the recent case of Germany’s Die Linke, slid backward from already weak positions. Left organizations are dealing simultaneously with the rapid escalation of structural crises from public health to the environment to geopolitics, huge changes in their operating environment, and the limits of their current support base.
Darrell Brooks poses for a booking photograph at the Milwaukee County Jail in Milwaukee, Wis., November 3, 2021. (Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via Reuters)
Welcome back to “Forgotten Fact-Checks,” a weekly column produced by National Review’s News Desk. This week, we investigate the curious case of the “killer car,” check in on how some progressive commentators celebrated Thanksgiving, and explore more media misses.
The Nutcracker balloon hovers above the crowd during the 93rd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, November 28, 2019. (Caitlin Ochs / Reuters)
On a cancellation of The Nutcracker; Russia’s threat to Ukraine; the screwiness of the Women’s March; the bravery of J.K. Rowling; and more
Now they have come for The Nutcracker. What I mean is, did you see this? The Berlin State Ballet has canceled Tchaikovsky’s ballet on grounds that the Chinese dance and the Arab dance give offense. Well, they give offense to those who are truly dying to take offense.
Mike Pence spent much of his vice presidency quietly catering to the whims of President Donald Trump. But on January 6, he broke with Trump by refusing to overturn the 2020 election results. And now, Pence is eyeing a presidential run of his own, even though his old boss hasn’t ruled out a 2024 campaign. Pence wouldn’t necessarily stay out of the race even if Trump jumps in.
“If you know the Pences, you know they’ll always try to discern where they’re being called to serve,” Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff told me.
Congress has never been a place known for cutting-edge fashion. Instead, a stuffy formality has long been its trademark. As Allbirds and preppy quarter-zips swept into boardrooms and C-suites across the rest of the country, Capitol Hill remained one of the last bastions of traditional American business attire—the global headquarters of wing tips and ill-fitting suits, Tory Burch flats and bland Banana Republic pencil skirts. During sweltering D.C.
As the trial of Jussie Smollett, the former Empire actor accused of faking his own hate crime, began on Monday, a 2019 tweet from Kamala Harris calling it “an attempted modern day lynching” and declaring that “no one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin” has resurfaced on social media.
In case you’ve forgotten, Smollett, who is Black and gay, claimed two masked men “doused him with bleach, put a rope around his neck and said, ‘This is MAGA country!’” In Chicago, of all places.
Politico reports that some Democrats want Biden to draw a sharper contrast with Republicans. They want him to attack Republicans for opposing popular items in his Build Back Better bill — expanded access to health care, lower prescription drug prices, more support for families and children — and frame this as the response to GOP attacks on Biden over inflation.
But Politico also reports this:
Story continues below advertisement
Democrats argue that Biden’s willingness to make more aggressive attacks against Republicans will be key to their success in 2022.
In a pre-Thanksgiving poll from Yahoo News and YouGov, 74 percent of respondents said their lives had “returned to normal” since the pandemic. As we learned on a particularly Black Friday, that was an inaccurate and even destructive fiction.
The desire for normalcy is human, and reasonable. Most of us are not conditioned to isolating ourselves from friends and loved ones, and require social interaction. The 2020 election was predicated on a new president returning the country to normalcy, a century after Warren Harding ran and won explicitly on that theme.
Democrats need to admit that inflation is real – or voters will turn on them
Inflation is an issue of real concern to many Americans. It’s also a chance for Democrats to name and shame price-gougers
‘This week Biden announced the release of 50m barrels of oil from the US strategic petroleum reserve, an attempt to bring down gas prices at the pump.’ Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
‘This week Biden announced the release of 50m barrels of oil from the US strategic petroleum reserve, an attempt to bring down gas prices at the pump.
All three defendants in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery were found guilty of murder.
Arbery was jogging through a South Georgia neighborhood. The men formed a posse that became what has been described as a “lynch mob.” They stalked Arbery, hunted him down, insisted on detaining him, and then one of the men — Travis McMichael — blasted him three times with a shotgun.
It was caught on video, ironically by one of the men now convicted of the murder.
The guilty verdicts landed oddly for me. This was the right decision, the way it should have gone.