January 22, 2022 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Southern politics, Biden’s first year, FBI informants, tribal sovereignty, fake election docs, bad Vlad, life after Roe and more

The week that was.


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Southern politics is bloodsport, and this is the Editorial Board‘s Weekend Edition.

I’m your host, John Stoehr.

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And now … to the week that was.

Magdi Semrau asks: Why is the press ignoring the information gap pulling down Biden’s favorability despite the press having created it? “Nothing in the president’s agenda looks like narrow catering to a leftist base; rather it looks a lot like addressing the interests of a broad spectrum of Americans.”

In an interview, Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon breaks down what’s at stake in the US-Russia tensions over Ukraine and why Vladimir Putin is terrible.“I think Putin’s vision is to make Russia a world power again, in similar strength and influence to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. The issues with his vision of Ukraine stems from an imperialist view on Ukraine as forever a part of and linked to Russia. This predates the Soviet Union and ties back to Imperial Russia.” 

Mia Brett tells us about an upcoming Supreme Court case that could underline tribal sovereignty even as it protects individual rights. “If the court ruled the federal prosecution violated double jeopardy, it would also rule that CFR Courts derive their authority from the federal government rather than the tribes themselves.”

Lindsay Beyerstein explains why fake paperwork is just what federal investigators need to crack a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election. “In a group of nearly 60 people facing serious prison time, at least some of them will be willing to implicate the higher ups to save themselves.”

Matt Robison is tired of the nonsense. “As President Biden marked the anniversary of his first year in office Wednesday, the reviews have come in. A raft of pundits and pollsters describe him as ‘limping,’ ‘struggling’ even ‘failing.’ Have you people lost your minds? The answer to the question ‘what grade do you give Biden’s first year in office?’ is ‘A+.’ Anything else is insane.

In an interview, Angie Maxwell explains why you don’t understand politics unless you understand southern politics. “Because of one-party politics, the south has no real political system capable of solving its very real problems. Politics becomes a “drole facade” – a politics of entertainment as opposed to a contest of ideas. There is little oversight or restraint. Politicians who are cult of personalities are successful. Political rallies are tent revival-like sources of entertainment.”

Richard Sudan asks: Did an FBI informant help stop a conspiracy to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer? Or did he help it along? “What happens when the very organizations supposedly tasked with tackling such threats have themselves become part of the mix, for all the wrong reasons?”

In an interview, Lisa Needham explains why women won’t only lose the right to abortion access if Roe goes down. They will have lost political standing. “Put simply, huge swaths of the country will have no access. It always seems over the top to say women will be second-class citizens, but that will absolutely be the case.”

Rod Graham says the Republicans are grabbing for power but not legitimacy. “These are all fruitful ways of thinking about our current political climate. But I tend to look at these issues more straightforwardly. The current iteration of the GOP wants power. It cares nothing about legitimacy. It’s as simple as that.”

John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.

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