Conversation About The Debate and its Aftermath

Damon Linker at Notes From the Middleground: The two-part conversation with Jonah Goldberg that I ran last week was conducted before the Biden-Trump debate on June 27. It was scheduled to run while my family and I were on vacation during the week of July 4. This means I’ve been silent about the extraordinary events engulfing American politics during the intervening week and a half. That silence ends this morning with a conversation I’ve had over the past few days with journalist Chris Cillizza, who runs the fabulous Substack titled So What. Click through, and you’ll find the unpaywalled text of our chat about Biden, the Democrats, the media, the media’s many critics, and much else.


Old CP1: “It also makes the Democratic and Republican Parties pretty formally similar.

Both are terrified by what it would mean for the other party to win. Yet both can also only manage a narrow victory.

This is true, but also all about the the horse race.

So I’ll ask: What core conservative value has not been abandoned by the GOP in its fealty to Trump? Character no longer matters, limited government no longer matters, free trade no longer matters, only cutting taxes for donors remains…in the meantime the GOP mounts primary challenges to any member who does not profess fealty to Trump, and eliminates them from the party. Ask Liz Cheney, who doesn’t count as a moderate in anyone’s book.

On the other side, what core liberal value are Democrats being asked to abandon to support Biden? What Biden loyalist is vowing revenge against Democrats who don’t back Biden? Will Sen. Warner’s family face death threats as Sen. Romney’s has?

So they’re not at all the same.

Ex-Republicans are all mouthing the same thing, that the failure to immediately dump Biden after the debate is “just like what happened” with their former party. It could not be more different.

But by focusing on the horse race instead of actual policy differences, all y’all play by Trump’s rules.

More here.

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