Two-thirds of Southern Republicans want to secede

Secession sentiments are common in states with dominant parties. In the northeast, Democrats are OK with it.

Christopher Ingraham at The Why Axis:

It sure is a good thing there aren’t any troubling historic precedents for what happens when large numbers of Southern conservatives, motivated in large part by a sense of grievance and victimhood, want to break away from the Union.

@kottke:

The headline here is that 66% of polled southern Republicans want to secede from the US, but really everyone wants to get the hell away from everyone else.

Ingraham:

Across the country, Bright Line Watch finds, people have more favorable views toward secession when their political party is dominant in their region….

In the liberal Northeast, for instance, Democrats are the group most supportive (39 percent) of secession. Ditto for the West Coast. In the Midwest and Great Lakes states, by contrast, Independents like the idea best, reflecting the divided politics of the region. And across the board, these numbers are trending upward.

Republicans could win the California recall even though all their candidates are unpopular

Why Republicans want to pack the California recall ballot. By Carla Marinucci on Politico — “To drive turnout, recall backers are encouraging any and all GOP entrants to join the race.”

This is why it’s important to vote “NO” on the recall, and convince others to do the same. Even though the measure is unpopular, Republicans could win anyway.

Republicans are packing the recall ballot, figuring each candidate they add will bring a few supporters. No individual candidate has to top 50% of the vote, but if the total supporters of all candidates goes over the top, then the recall succeeds.

Newsom is popular, but the recall is structured so even a popular candidate, like Newsom, is at risk.

Republicans can’t win fair elections, nationally or in California. So they’re gaming the election system.

Quick hits 2 — Wes Anderson, the mass-murdering Sacklers, California broadband deal, and voting rights

Wes Anderson’s ode to print journalism is a periodic delight. By Peter Bradshaw at The Guardian — Wes Anderson’s latest, “The French Dispatch,” is about 20th Century American journalism, features a French town called “Ennui-Sur-Blasé,” and the cast includes Bill Murray and Frances McDormand. I love it already! Also, this review includes the words “pasticheurs” and “feuilleton.”

— Cory Doctorow: The mass-murdering Sacklers will get to keep billions, thanks to their skill at shopping until they find a corrupt judge.

Governor, Legislative Leaders Reach Deal on $5.25 Billion California Broadband Expansion. By Chris Jennewein at the Times of San Diego — “Gov. Gavin Newsom and the leaders of the Senate and Assembly reached a deal Monday to spend $5.25 billion expanding California’s broadband internet connectivity for families and businesses.”

Vox explains the GOP voting bill that literally caused Texas Democrats to flee the state. By Ian Millhiser — The Texas GOP wants to make it harder for people to vote, make it harder to eject partisan poll-watchers who disrupt the electoral process, and impose draconian penalties for minor violations of voting laws, to prevent repeating imaginary voter fraud.

Biden Labels GOP Voting Laws Greatest Threat to American Democracy Since Civil War. By Zachary Evans at the National Review — “‘The Confederates, back then, never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on January the 6th,’ Biden said…. ‘I’m not saying this to alarm you; I’m saying this because you should be alarmed.’”

San Diego’s Kevin Faulconer is running a serious campaign for governor, without a bear.

Ben Christopher, CalMatters, on the Times of San Diego:

A Republican former mayor of San Diego, he governed that once Republican but now reliably blue coastal city as a pro-immigrant, climate-change-believing, bilingual urbanist. He touts endorsements from the traditional quarters of state GOP leadership.

And he really wants you to take the recall election seriously.

So far, Faulconer has tried to make waves in a way that almost seems quaint in 2021: by releasing policy proposals.

The logic of recall works for Faulconer. Faulconer is a moderate Republican in blue California, which handicaps him in a normal election. A normal election starts with a primary, where a Republican has to appeal to the MAGA base, and then pivot to the center. But the recall skips the primaries.

However, Faulconer’s candidacy depends on voters wanting to get rid of Newsom, who has proven popular. But right now Newsom is writing high on re-opening popularity, and his popularity may take a big hit when we get into a wildfire and blackout season.

Lots of “howevers” and “buts” in the previous two paragraphs. That’s just the nature of the recall.

Are We Destined for a Trump Coup in 2024? — Ross Douthat at The New York Times.

Worries about a Republican coup in 2024 are reasonable, but doom-and-gloom pessimism is unreasonable, says Douthat. The GOP isn’t preparing for a coup, he says. The party’s attitude seems to be paying lip service to Trump and his supporters, throwing them a few bones, and outwaiting them.

Republican leaders say they support #StopTheSteal, but they’re doing nothing to advance the cause, and they’re not treating Biden as an illegitimate President or doing other things you’d expect if they were trying to foment an insurrection. Even the voter restrictions they’re putting in place on a state level are designed to head off claims of voter fraud.

Not said by Douthat: Yes, but the voter restrictions are unreasonable and disenfranchise likely Democratic voters.

… the key question is whether Trump and his allies will be able to consistently punish, not just a lightning rod like Raffensperger or the scattering of House Republicans who voted for impeachment, but the much larger number of G.O.P. officials who doomed the #StopTheSteal campaign through mere inaction — starting with Republican statehouse leaders in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona and moving outward through the ranks from there.

Obsessing about a Republican coup could be counterproductive for Democrats, “whose immediate problem is a much more ordinary one: Its ideas and leaders in the last election cycle weren’t as popular as its activists imagined, and it’s therefore vulnerable not just to some future Trumpian chicanery but also to a relatively normal sort of repudiation, in which the democratic process works relatively smoothly — and rewards Republicans instead.”

America 2026

Biden, the Democrats, and Republicans all seem to be moving along like 1/6 was an ordinary riot, and Trump was on ordinary Republican President, and we can just go back to the way things were under Clinton, Bush, and Obama. That’s delusional and dangerous.

My crystal ball says that the United States is on the cusp of a historical transition. We are not going to be the same country in five years that we are today.

One likely outcome is fragmentation, like the USSR. Probably the resulting nation would continue to be called the United States and would have the surface trappings of the nation we’re accustomed to. But individual regions and states would operate as independent nations. Some of those places will be good places to live — California and New York, in particular, might be better off. Other places would be like Eastern European dictatorships. Not nice at all.

Another likely outcome is the emergence of a powerful President and following to tie things back together. If we’re fortunate, that President will be like Lincoln or the Roosevelts. If we’re less fortunate, that President will be a Hitler or Erdogan.

I foresee an uncomfortably high probability of Civil War 2 on the horizon. Or even World War 3 — but this time, the US is the bad guys.

The GOP’s ‘Off the Rails’ March Toward Authoritarianism Has Historians Worried

Ben Jacobs at Vice:

One political scientist, the co-author of a book called “How Democracies Die,” put it bluntly: “I think we are headed for a crisis.”

The Republican Party’s rejection of democracy is unprecedented in history or world current events, say historians.

But Jan. 6 was like Fort Sumter. And so far the Democrats are a lot like Buchanan — inviting future bloodshed and crisis by failing to act decisively.

For the Republican Party, Jan. 6 was a training exercise. And it went pretty well for them overall.

The defining characteristics of true democracy are that the outcome of elections are uncertain, and the losing party cedes power. We’re seeing one of the major parties of the US reject both these principles.