November 6, 2021 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
Resetting police reform, abortion and guns at SCOTUS, higher inflation is good, coded MAGA violence, gerontocracy & more
The week that was.
Welcome to the weekend edition of the Editorial Board.
I’m your host, John Stoehr.
First off, please welcome our newest member, Noah Berlatsky! Noah’s going to write about the political economy for the Editorial Board.
And now to the week that was …
On Monday, I wrote about how there’s always someone somewhere willing to make a buck by defending and protecting the political status quo even when, or especially when, that person is a member of the out-group. “These are the people who work hard to create reputations of independence and integrity, but who are in fact aligned with the conservatives, because the conservatives have money and power.”
On Tuesday, I wrote about the role of so-called “parents’ rights” in this year’s race for governor in Virginia. It’s not about parents’ rights. It’s about the “rights” of men to dominate and control “their women.” “‘Suburban white moms’ care for their kids. They fear for their kids. No one should blame them for that of course. But they need to know there’s something scarier: men talking about parents’ rights.”
On Wednesday, I wrote about how Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s governor-elect, and the Republicans broke the coalition that delivered the commonwealth to Joe Biden last year. They did it with white supremacy. “The risk Joe Biden took in vowing a return to normal was respectable white people sliding back into their former bad habit of thinking about their interests to the exclusion of democracy’s.”
On Thursday, I wrote about the presumption among Democrats, progressives and liberals that passing big, bold legislation for “the common man” would yield victory on Election Day. “The ‘common man’ may not want help economically. He may want instead to feel like he’s back on top. That feeling would require taking a side against the out-group, which is to say, against the base of the Democratic Party.”
On Friday, I was inspired by an old friend to take Thursday’s post and flip it over. Even if big, bold legislation does not yield victory on Election Day, do it anyway. “Perhaps the Democrats are once again, right now, playing the long game — creating economic conditions that will prevent the emergence of another transparently fascist president.”
Before we go on, a reminder that all of my commentary is available without a paid subscription. I hope, since it’s for free, you will be inspired to become a paying subscriber. That’s the chance I’m willing to take. I hope you see why that’s worth supporting. For those who are supporting us, the following are for subscribers only.
The Editorial Board’s Lindsay Beyerstein wrote about the GOP’s new catchphrase, “Let’s go, Brandon.” She explains the coded message for “Fuck Joe Biden” tells us violence isn’t a result of MAGA politics. It is MAGA politics. “The phrase itself is goofy, but it’s totally unacceptable for a pilot of a major airline to repeat MAGA catchphrases from the cockpit during an epidemic of right-wing air rage.”
The Editorial Board’s Rod Graham pushes the reset button on the debate over police reform. To begin, remember that police are “violence workers” mismatched with tasks requiring diplomacy, tact and nonviolence. “These facts lend themselves to supporting some kind of police reform. And so, the question becomes, what would police reform mean in practice? What does ‘Defund the Police’ mean?
The Editorial Board’s Noah Berlatsky writes about the link between low inflation and high economic inequality, and why a millionaire like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin does not want to talk about it. “This may be part of the reason researchers have found a link between very low inflation and high levels of inequality.”
The Editorial Board’s Mia Brett writes about two cases heard before the Supreme Court this week and how the one about abortion may end up influencing the one about guns in ways that seemed to have made Justice Brett Kavanaugh squirm a bit. “Shockingly, it’s not all bad news out of the court but some of the good news on abortion could be owed to a brief from the Firearms Policy Coalition (yes, seriously).
And finally, the Editorial Board’s Matt Robison takes a deep dive into the policy of social insurance, and why the government should push more wealth down to the young who ended it instead of pushing wealth up to the old who don’t. “This isn’t exactly rocket science: investments in younger generations mean more people living healthier lives, costing the government less, paying more taxes and having more of their own resources later in life.”
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John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.