Justice Stephen Breyer retires is big news for the Supreme Court. It’s not yet clear how it will affect the midterm elections – although tentative court rulings on abortion and other emerging issues could certainly shape the debate that will prevail. midterm.
But time has told a lot about the current state of competition between the sides.
If all goes well for the White House – President Biden appoints an undeniably qualified candidate and confirmation proceeds in an orderly manner – “I don’t expect it to move much,” Impact Research Democrat pollster Molly Murphy, a leadership adviser to the Democratic Congressional Advocacy Committee.
It is likely, she said, to make an irresistible error by Biden – designating a “lightning rod” that triggers a reaction in the order of things Brett Kavanaugh stirred – to get his court to designate. a divisive issue in November.
Still, Justice Breyer’s retirement, which comes amid the decline of Biden and his party, could remind indifferent Democratic voters of the dangers of losing their Senate majority. After all, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would not hold a confirmation vote during the final stretch of Biden’s term, should he become majority leader.
And if Biden keeps his campaign promise to put the first black woman on the Supreme Court, it will give Democrats a chance to celebrate – an unfamiliar experience. of the past several months.
Still, Republicans see only good signs in Justice Breyer’s exit for now, as Democrats can count on being able to confirm his successor if it comes to a line vote. party line. And they appear confident they are more likely to attack any of Biden’s names.
“I think that reflects that the Dems knew they were going to lose the Senate,” said Chris Hartline, a spokesman for the Republican National Senate Committee. “Forcing vulnerable Democrats to walk and vote for a radical candidate will be the final nail in their electoral coffin.”
Here’s what our colleagues have to say about Breyer’s retirement and the steps to replace him:
Tucker Carlson: ‘Of course I’m not a Russian agent’
The threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine is dividing Republicans along a line that first emerged when Donald Trump was president: GOP elites want to get tough on Moscow, while their voters appear wary sense.
On Tuesday, Senator Mitch McConnell spoke for the elite when he praising President Biden’s handling of the recent crisis. Amid reports that NATO countries are supply lethal weapons to Ukraine“I see that the administration is on the right track,” said the Senate minority leader.
Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host, is the head of the skeptical establishment. In a particularly heated exchange on Monday with Representative Mike Turner of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Carlson asked: “Why disloyal to Russia, but loyal to Ukraine? That is a sincere question. ”
“Such confrontations have confounded the Republican response and undermined efforts by Republican leaders to view Mr. Biden’s response as weak,” said our colleague Jonathan Weisman. write in one Briefly analyze the new fault lines appearing on the right.
In an interview on Wednesday, Carlson vigorously defended his remarks, which some critics see as support and consolation for Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine.
“Everything I’ve said about Russia and Ukraine makes it clear to me that it’s normal,” Carlson said. “I don’t think my opinion is considered radical.”
As for the GOPists who are urging Biden to supply Ukraine with Stinger missiles and Javelin anti-tank weapons, “I don’t think they’re all on Raytheon,” Carlson said. “They are just on autopilot. These are zombie ideas that they never update. “
Carlson denies accusations that he is standing in the Kremlin’s line, whether through his comments on Ukraine or through his seeming fascination with Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, who is close to Moscow. . On Wednesday, streaming service Fox Nation released “Hungary vs. Soros: The Battle for Civilization,” which Carlson filmed in Budapest, the Hungarian capital.
“I don’t care, if that’s the question,” he said. “I’ve never been to Russia, I don’t speak Russian. Of course I am not a Russian agent.”
Carlson says his skepticism about U.S. involvement in Ukraine is motivated by two things: distaste for the way American politicians in both parties promote intervention abroad, and regret over the political role played in Ukraine. in promoting the Iraq war.
“We just humbly withdrew from the longest war in American history,” he said, pointing to Afghanistan. “And nobody stopped to ask, how did we end up here?”
Most of the time, he says, “I just enjoy the idea of defending the territorial integrity of a country that most Americans cannot identify on Google Maps.”
But Carlson became lively when he reflected on the early days of George W. Bush, when the 9/11 attacks, he said, created a hostile media atmosphere toward anyone who questioned it. about the wisdom of wars in far-flung nations that Americans grapple with. knowledge.
He recalls his tenure as co-host of “Crossfire,” the CNN debate show that often brought experts from the left and right to debunk it about the politics of the “war on terror.” father” in the early 2000s.
“In previous conflicts, I participated in the hysteria,” he said. “I have no ill intentions, but I was involved in a propaganda effort. I’m really embarrassed about that. I will never do that again. I really mean that. ”
Carlson said he saw notable similarities between that time period and “the present moment where legitimate questions arise.”
He compares his ignorance back then about countries in the Middle East to today’s hawkish commentary on Ukraine, which he considers “obviously insane enough to scare me that it seems No one else noticed.”
“I mean, how can you understand the country if you can’t even speak the language?” he said, adding an explanation for emphasis. He said he didn’t know “what am I talking about.”
“I don’t support Putin,” Carlson insisted. “I only care what happens to ours Nation.”
But Bipartisan rush to aid Ukraine – what he called “childish” – only reinforced Carlson’s doubts about the acumen of leaders in both parties, whom he considered “too stupid to control a country.” countries of our size.”
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https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/26/us/politics/tucker-carlson-russia-ukraine.html Biden Named New Supreme Court Justice