When Larry Elder conceded defeat this week in his bid to unseat California Governor Gavin Newsom, he sounded a different note than Nixon: “Let’s be gracious in defeat,” the talk show host said. Still, at least he and Nixon admitted they were beaten — something former President Donald Trump could never bring himself to do after the 2020 election.
Elder’s post-election concession clashed with his earlier embrace of Trump’s “big lie” strategy — the notion of massive election fraud which the former president has been promoting ever since he lost to Joe Biden. “The conservative ecosystem that backed Elder’s run didn’t seem to be simply looking for him to win, even though the uniquely arcane mechanisms of California’s recall politics made it briefly seem as if that might be possible,” wrote Jeff Yang.
“The true goal of Elder’s Republican backers appeared to be for him to at least lose by a margin that would allow them to contest the results in order to claim that Democrats had once again engaged in magical manipulation of ballots, voting machines or the brains of voters themselves, thus making the election seem null and void and expanding already widespread doubt and paranoia about the nature of our democracy.”
Trump’s refusal to concede set the stage for the events of January 6 — a fact that apparently wasn’t lost on former President George W. Bush, who last weekend drew a parallel between the Capitol rioters and the 9/11 attackers. “The 9/11 terrorists and the January 6 attackers do share the same ‘foul spirit,'” Dean Obeidallah wrote, quoting Bush.
Gen. Mark Milley’s calls
Milley was just doing his job, wrote retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling. “Given that the former president had already made worrisome comments about summarily pulling US forces out of various areas around the world, and given media reports of Trump’s earlier threats to attack other nations, Milley found it necessary to communicate directly with his counterparts overseas, with whom he had a professional relationship.”
Melania Trump and Stephanie Grisham’s book
“Every word of Grisham’s forthcoming tell-all might be true,” wrote Jill Filipovic. “It might accurately paint Donald, Melania and many of their family members and staffers as among the most deplorable and morally hideous people to ever occupy the White House.
To boost or not to boost?
The Delta variant may finally have peaked in the US, wrote Dr. Kent Sepkowitz. So is it time to declare victory over Covid-19?
“Of course not,” he argued. “The Covid-19 pandemic isn’t going to miraculously disappear…”
Writing for CNN Opinion, William Haseltine, observed that, “for those in the US who received mRNA vaccines, a third dose is the minimum we should pursue for Covid-19 protection, and people should prepare themselves for the possibility that they will need additional doses or annual shots in the months and years to come. For those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there is not enough data so far to say with certainty whether a booster is advisable.”
‘Tax the rich’
Covid-19 canceled the Met Gala last year, but it roared back this week as fancifully-dressed celebrities once again dazzled social media at the benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “made her Met Gala debut in a long white off-shoulder mermaid gown, with ‘Tax The Rich’ scribed across the back in massive, flag-red letters,” wrote Holly Thomas. “It was explicit, as close as you could come to having a placard at the gala without literally bringing one.” It was also controversial. “Donald Trump Jr. led the charge, and Newsmax’s Benny Johnson and actor and comedian Michael Rapaport joined in to complain about the apparent hypocrisy of a politician who’s targeting the rich showing up to a $35,000-per-ticket event almost exclusively populated by the extremely wealthy and/or famous. They appeared unaware of the fact that, as Ocasio-Cortez pointed out on Instagram, New York City’s elected officials are regularly invited to the Met Gala for free,” Thomas noted.
President Joe Biden is fully in accord with the “tax the rich” idea, but when his allies in the House unveiled their tax proposal this week, it signaled a partial retreat from the President’s agenda.
“Yes, Democrats plan to raise top rates on personal and corporate income taxes. That’s not nothing. But it’s not nearly sufficient to pay for the generous welfare state Democrats want to build. Paying for that would ultimately require levying higher taxes on the middle class, too, as other countries with more expansive safety nets do.”
Biden’s declining approval ratings are alarming people on the left and cheering the right.
We’ve seen the future of tennis
The women’s US Open tennis tournament featured an all-teenager final last weekend. As Amy Bass noted, it was the first such match since 1999 when “17-year-old Serena Williams upset Martina Hingis… for her first Grand Slam title in only her second year on the pro circuit.”
“Neither of these young women saw that match because they hadn’t been born,” wrote Bass, of Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez. “The duo, both born in Canada, defy easy categorization in a sport where both nationality and ethnicity have often proved contentious. Fernandez, who speaks English, French and Spanish, is coached by her father, Jorge, a former professional soccer player from Ecuador. Her mother, born in Canada to Filipino parents, moved to California for work in order to better financially support the family. Raducanu, whose father is Romanian and mother is Chinese, moved to London when she was two.”
Raducanu, who had been ranked 150th in the world, stunned fans with her rise to the title. Her victory is worth celebrating, wrote Bass.