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Stuff You Should Consume - April 23, 2023
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Stuff You Should Consume,”— a weekly compilation of interesting political content for Message Box readers.
“The Road to A Political Realignment in American Politics” by Doug Sosnik (via Politico Playbook)
Culturally, a person’s educational attainment increasingly correlates with their views on a wide range of issues, including abortion, attitudes about LGBTQ+ rights, and the relationship between government and organized religion. It also extends to cultural consumption (movies, TV, books), social media choices, and voters’ sources of information that shape their understanding of facts. As a result of these economic and cultural trends, politics now has a class-based architecture where cultural affinity now surpasses voters' narrow economic self-interests. This educational sorting has made the vast majority of states no longer politically competitive. It is the battleground states in the middle - where education levels are neither disproportionately high nor low - that will decide the 2024 presidential election
“Biden preparing to announce reelection campaign next week” by Tyler Prager and Michael Scherer. Washington Post
Biden and his aides have targeted Tuesday for the release of the video to coincide with the four-year anniversary of his 2020 campaign launch. The people briefed on the plans, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations, cautioned that the official announcement could be delayed.
“The Fox Lawsuit Was Never Going to Save America” by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic
The Smartmatic lawsuit won’t save America from Fox News either, or from whatever succeeds it. No lawsuit, no investigation, no state intervention can prevent people from believing falsehoods they want to be true. The only real solution is to prevent those operating under such delusions, or the politicians beholden to them, from wielding power. And that is not the work of the courts, or of corporations like Dominion. That, unfortunately, is the work of politics. And in a democracy, it is work that never ends.
“House Republicans Debate Whether to Shoot Themselves in the Foot” by Josh Barro, Very Serious
I suspect GOP leadership’s real hesitation is a practical, political one: They don’t want to put their vulnerable members on record voting to make insulin more expensive, especially when the proposal to do that has no chance of passing the Senate. I’m under no illusion that the Inflation Reduction Act is viewed massively favorably as a whole by voters, and I especially don’t think the public buys the idea that the act will reduce — or has been reducing — inflation. But if House Republicans vote to repeal the entire IRA, Democrats won’t have to talk about it as a whole. They can say Republicans voted to raise the cost of seniors’ insulin and other drugs in order to boost profits for pharmaceutical companies and cut taxes on the biggest corporations, and that will all be true. Not great!
“Indictment turbocharges Trump’s fundraising” by Alex Isenstadt, Politico
But the campaign also says it brought in nearly the same amount in the two weeks after the charges were filed against the former president — $15.4 million — underscoring just how much the charges against Trump have animated his backers. In another indication that the indictment has helped Trump to grow his fundraising base, nearly a quarter of those who contributed to Trump during that period had never given to him before.
The figures provide a snapshot of how Trump’s arrest has, at least for the time being, shaped the Republican primary. While the former president’s indictment — along with potential future charges in several ongoing investigations — puts him in serious legal jeopardy, it has helped to solidify his standing with his supporters and grow his campaign war chest.
“The Internet of the 2010s Ended Today” by Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic
The legacy of BuzzFeed News has two components. The first I described above. This legacy lives on in the stories, as well as the alumni network of brilliant writers, reporters, editors, and artists, who now work in every newsroom on the planet. (There are five of us here at The Atlantic.) The second part is, sadly, much more familiar: It is the tragic story of the digital-media industry writ large. It is a familiar tale of mismanagement; low interest rates; unrealistic expectations; greedy, extractive venture capitalists; and the impossibility of exponential growth.