Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty When people ask me about where my conservative beliefs come from, I can give them many rational reasons that I mostly reverse-engineered. But the truth is that my first political influence was my father.My dad worked as a prison guard for 30 years in Hagerstown, Maryland. That’s right. He literally went to jail for three decades so that I could get paid to write about politics. Talk about a sacrifice.Coming from a blue collar background had its downsides, but it has also given me valuable perspective. Few of my colleagues have a background as rural or as conservative as mine.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / Getty The 2024 New Hampshire primary is set for Jan. 23—just two months from now. With Christmas smack-dab in between, that date will seem to arrive quicker than normal.If Republicans are going to have even a slim chance of stopping Donald Trump from being the GOP nominee, Chris Christie must get out of the race before then.This is not just because Christie could lose New Hampshire while sucking up enough votes to spoil the race for other non-Trump candidates (though that could happen); it’s also because… Christie could possibly win.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyYou either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain. Or, at least, a sellout.Case in point: Former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) lost his seat in 2020 because of his vote to impeach Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Today, he’s running for U.S. Senate in Michigan and says he will support whoever the GOP nominates for president—which is to say, he would vote for Donald Trump.When asked by Politico magazine during his January 2023 “exit interview” whether he would support Trump in 2024, Meijer responded, “I have no idea how I would do that.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyThe war in the Middle East is sparking a civil war on the right. By now you’ve probably seen the back-and-forth between right-wing provocateur Candace Owens, who hosts a show on The Daily Wire, and the site’s co-founder and editor emeritus, Ben Shapiro.In case the spat has eluded you, after Owens sent a tweet presumably criticizing Israel’s response to terrorist attacks—“No government anywhere has a right to commit a genocide, ever”—a video surfaced of Shapiro calling her comments “disgraceful.” (He also dinged Owens for her “faux sophistication.”)The spat continued with Owens firing off a cryptic tweet, ostensibly aimed at Shapiro (who is Jewish), that included the bible verse, “You cannot serve both God and money.” Owens followed that up with a tweet simply saying, “Christ is King.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyIn recent weeks, two almost paradoxical developments have converged in the 2024 presidential race. First, Donald Trump is polling ahead of Joe Biden in the general election. And second, Trump has somehow raised the bar to previously unimaginable levels in terms of the violent and dehumanizing rhetoric he’s openly spouting on the campaign trail.During a Veterans Day speech this past weekend, Trump threatened to “root out the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.” He went on to note, “The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous and grave than the threat from within.”Trump’s definition of “vermin” is broad—basically encompassing anyone who opposes him (so if I end up in Gitmo, you’ll know why).Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / GettyRepublicans are poised to nominate a presidential candidate who has been impeached twice and indicted four times. And… incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden is currently losing to him?This is the state of affairs, according to new battleground state polls by The New York Times and Siena College showing Biden trailing Donald Trump in five of the six most important swing states.To be sure, we are still over a year (and a gazillion news cycles) out from the general election. But the stakes are even higher than normal. Trump has promised retribution and appears to be gearing up to weaponize the Justice Department if he is re-elected.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty ImagesJust when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Joe Biden, the Israel-Hamas war poses serious problems for a president already struggling with upside-down approval ratings heading into a re-election year.Domestic politics should not drive foreign policy decisions, and I have given Biden credit for demonstrating moral clarity thus far with his steadfast support of Israel. But Biden is being squeezed politically on multiple fronts (left, right, and center). Should this war linger, the collateral damage could also include Biden’s second term.Let’s start on the left, where the war has emerged as a wedge issue dividing Democrats along the lines of ideology, identity, and age.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyThe new Speaker of the House is in debt. Better hide your grandmother’s pearls.In case you missed it, there has been buzz that although newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) and his wife earn a couple hundred thousand dollars a year, his financial disclosure report does not list a bank account (as reported here at The Daily Beast).This presumably either suggests something untoward or that his accounts simply do not add up to the $5,000 disclosure threshold.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / GettyIn her race to own second place in the 2024 GOP primary, Nikki Haley is seeking to dispel the “If you ain’t first, you’re last” adage.Haley is now tied with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for second in Iowa, according to a new Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa poll. More importantly, the trend lines show DeSantis down 3 points and Haley up 10 points since August. What is more, Haley has already surpassed DeSantis in New Hampshire, where she is now in second place in the first-in-the-nation primary.Haley is emerging as the alternative to Donald Trump, at least in part, because she is more likable than DeSantis. She’s a better debater. She is, as Pat Buchanan used to say, a better “political athlete.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / GettyI never thought the day would come when I, a die-hard Reagan Republican, would credit a Democratic president for being Reaganesque. Amazingly, it has. Don’t look now, but Joe Biden has been leading with moral authority in the struggle against violent authoritarianism and illiberalism at home and abroad.While Donald Trump criticized the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden met with Bibi and declared America’s support for Israel to be “rock solid and unwavering.” And while Republican support for providing U.S. aid to Ukraine has eroded, Biden has steadfastly supported them in their plight against a brutal Russian invasion.This trend continued during his speech on Thursday night, where Biden sought to unite these two crises. “The assault on Israel echoes nearly 20 months of war, tragedy, and brutality inflicted on the people of Ukraine—people that were very badly hurt since Vladimir Putin launched his all-out invasion,” he said.Read more at The Daily Beast.