Matt Lewis

Matt Lewis

Opinion: Mitt Romney Has a Point About Pardoning Trump

William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty ImagesDonald Trump poses an existential threat to liberal democracy; therefore, a reasonable reaction to his possible return to power has been to throw everything but the kitchen sink at him.This ranged from supporting his impeachment and removal, to voting for his adversaries (including Nikki Haley), to charging him with 88 criminal offenses in four criminal cases.But a new theory has emerged that suggests the latter example of this confrontational approach was unwise and counterproductive. And it is coming from the unlikeliest of sources: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT).Read more at The Daily Beast.

Opinion: Biden’s Playing Dumb Politics With Threat to Cut Israel Military Aid

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesJoe Biden is in the process of alienating his allies for the sake of adversaries he can neither win over, nor appease. This, as they say, is a rookie mistake.I’m speaking, of course, about Biden’s threat that the U.S. will not supply weapons for Israel to invade Rafah, a city that the Associated Press describes as “the last major Hamas stronghold in Gaza.”In so doing, Biden is being less than a loyal friend to Israel, an ally who rightly views Hamas as an existential threat. But he’s also alienating his political allies right here in America. And while we can debate the ethics of urban warfare in Gaza, what seems less debatable is the notion that this is a shrewd political move. Indeed, it strikes me as quite stupid.Read more at The Daily Beast.

Opinion: Evangelicals See Trump’s Hedonism as Godly ‘Masculinity’

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Reuters/Getty ImagesFor those looking for salacious content, Stormy Daniels’ testimony at Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial did not disappoint.Daniels testified that Trump answered the hotel door wearing “silk or satin.” She also said Trump told her, “You remind me of my daughter,” and that she spanked him with a magazine—among other prurient recollections.I’ll leave it to legal experts to debate whether this TMI could backfire by evoking sympathy for Trump, or even jeopardizing the trial. Personally, I’m more interested in what the same conservatives who insisted that Bill Clinton’s character flaws made him unfit for the presidency will think about all this.Read more at The Daily Beast.

Trump Says Some Americans Might Like a Dictator. He’s Right.

Photo Illustrator by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty ImagesNumerous scary details came out of Donald Trump’s recent interview with Time magazine, but few were more eye opening than an exchange that, in my opinion, didn’t garner the attention it deserved.When asked about his authoritarian rhetoric regarding being a “dictator for a day” and “suspending the Constitution,” Trump responded, saying, “I think a lot of people like it.”Now, in fairness, Trump insisted that he was only joking and “being sarcastic” when he said these things. Moreover, he suggested that normal people get it, while the overwrought press (who find joking about these things dangerous and are worried about “norms” and the “social fabric”) keep getting trolled by him.Read more at The Daily Beast.

Arizona’s Abortion Ban Repeal Is a Win and a Loss for Dems

Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastOne irony of politics is that you are often punished for fixing a problem. The most famous example of this is Winston Churchill, who, after winning World War II, was promptly thrown out of office in 1945. No good deed goes unpunished; once you have solved our problems, we have no more use for you.Today’s Republican Party seems to understand this concept (look no further than Donald Trump sabotaging border security in order to keep the issue alive), and Democrats in Arizona, at least, apparently, do not.In case you missed it, the Arizona Senate voted on Wednesday to repeal the 1864 abortion ban that the Arizona Supreme Court reimposed last month. All 14 Democrats (with the help of two Republicans) voted for repeal, and Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs immediately signaled she would sign the bill.Read more at The Daily Beast.

Why Are Prominent Republicans Who Despise Trump Voting for Him Anyway?

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyIf you want to understand why Donald Trump could win in 2024, look no further than Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Attorney General Bill Barr, and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. These three top Republican voices who previously condemned Trump now say they plan to vote for him again this November.Let’s start with McConnell, who on Sunday (re)asserted that he would be voting for Trump for president. McConnell’s reason? “Because the voters of my party across the country have made a decision. As the Republican leader of the Senate, obviously, I’m gonna support the nominee of our party.”Keep in mind, following Trump’s second impeachment trial in 2021, McConnell said that “Trump’s actions preceding the [Capitol] riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty,” and that “There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.”Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Left Needs to Handle Its Antisemitism Problem—NOW

Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty ImagesIn recent days, we have witnessed chaos on and around the Columbia University campus, as threats against Jewish students have created an intolerable and combustible atmosphere.A woman attempting to hide her identity held up a sign with an arrow pointing toward pro-Israel students that read “Al-Qasam’s Next Target,” a reference to Hamas’ military wing. Other protesters told students, “Go back to Europe. Go back to Poland.”Another protester shouted, “The 7th of October is going to be every day for you,” in reference to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Others sang a chant, which included the words, “We support Hamas’ fight!” and “Hamas we love you. We support your rockets too!” An Arab-Israeli journalist was allegedly assaulted by agitators. These are just a few of the alleged threats and assaults that have been documented on or near this campus.Read more at The Daily Beast.

It’s Day 1 of the Trump Trial and MAGA’s Mind Is Already Melting

Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastDonald Trump’s New York hush-money-to-a-porn-star trial has barely begun, and already, his MAGA backers are trying to rig the outcome.On Monday, conservative media personality Clay Travis sent the following tweet to his one million-plus Twitter (X) followers: “If you’re a Trump supporter in New York City who is a part of the jury pool, do everything you can to get seated on the jury and then refuse to convict as a matter of principle, dooming the case via hung jury. It’s the most patriotic thing you could possibly do.”Make no mistake, this is a very dangerous and irresponsible message to send. It seeks to pervert the American legal system, a system where no man is above the law and the goal is to deliver blind justice.Read more at The Daily Beast.

Biden’s 3 Most Politically Incompetent Mistakes as President

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / GettyFor those of us who see Donald Trump as a cross between a tyrant and a clown, the notion that Joe Biden isn’t mopping the floor with him continues to feel insane. We are left scratching our heads and wondering why Biden isn’t a) winning big, or b) getting credit for his accomplishments.What did he do that rendered him almost as unpopular as Trump?Answers to these questions tend to break down into two categories, including problems that were outside of Biden’s control, and the disasters he invited into his presidency. I want to focus on the latter group because I believe that Biden would be on his way to re-election had he simply not fallen prey to avoidable mistakes.Read more at The Daily Beast.

Matt Gaetz’s Ability to Survive Scandal Is Truly Trumpian

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty Images“I’ll give you the truth why I’m not speaker,” Kevin McCarthy told a crowd assembled at Georgetown University this past Tuesday night. “It’s because one person, a member of Congress, wanted me to stop an ethics complaint because he slept with a 17-year-old…”Cue the record scratch.In a normal world, that shocking allegation—leveled by a former Speaker of the House against a current member of the House, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)—would have dominated news coverage for weeks. Instead, it barely elicited a yawn.Read more at The Daily Beast.