The State Superintendent at the Forefront of the GOP’s Education Crusade

“Walters has tried to use his office to back a courtroom battle over the nation’s first public religious charter school — a Catholic institution that would be financed by taxpayers but free to teach, enroll and expel students based on faith-based doctrines just like a private parochial school.”

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/03/23/ryan-walters-religion-schools-oklahoma-00146826

The Surprising Takeaway From My Survey on How Trump Got a Grip on the GOP Grassroots

“Last February, the county chairs were less supportive of Trump than Republican primary voters as a whole. Yet as time went on, and Trump consolidated support among rank-and-file voters, the chairs fell in line. It’s a reflection of the state of the GOP that has existed since 2016 when Trump first snatched the nomination away from the establishment and took over the Republican Party.
In the pre-Trump era, GOP leaders clearly played more of a role in steering the direction of the party. The 2012 campaign is instructive: Many different candidates were briefly the favorites of rank-and-file Republican voters, from Rick Perry to Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich to Rick Santorum. But throughout the cycle, party elites’ money and endorsements stayed focused on Mitt Romney, and that’s who got the nomination. This year’s ongoing survey of county chairs illustrates how Republican elites are now more responsive to the grassroots rather than the other way around — either because they lack the interest or the ability to do anything else.”

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/03/04/trump-republicans-chairs-survey-00143360

House Republicans had a bad day

“It was the last vote for Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., the conservative hard-liner who was all but banished from the party after he insisted that its leaders stop spreading lies about the 2020 election and accept that former President Donald Trump lost. He resigned from Congress on Friday, leaving his seat empty for now.

Buck voted “no” on the spending bill, and said he’d have voted “hell no” if possible. But despite his unassailable fiscal conservative credentials, he lost his stature on the right for insisting his party reject the stolen-election claims, reflecting a new litmus test.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/house-republicans-had-bad-day-012737762.html

Loyalty is a one-way street in Donald Trump’s GOP. Just ask Ronna McDaniel

“Like the party itself, McDaniel made changes and accommodations to aid and ally with Trump. Much has been written about her decision to drop her maiden name, Romney, at Trump’s behest. But the more consequential choice McDaniel made was to help move the party away from its establishment bearing — from which she herself came — into one that echoed Trump’s political fancies. She stood by him even after he threatened to form his own party, spread conspiracies about widespread fraud, lost the 2020 election and then attempted to overturn those results.”

https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/08/ronna-mcdaniel-trump-step-down-00140291

Sen. Lankford says a ‘popular commentator’ threatened to ‘do whatever I can to destroy you’ if he negotiated a border deal during a presidential election year

“Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma spoke on Wednesday about the political challenges he’s encountered while serving as the top GOP negotiator on a bipartisan border security deal.
In a speech shortly before the expected failure of the deal, Lankford bemoaned the fact that some fellow Republicans were objecting to the bill for purely political reasons.

“Some of them have been very clear with me,” Lankford said of his GOP colleagues, “they have political differences with the bill. They say it’s the wrong time to solve the problem. We’ll let the presidential election solve this problem.”

Lankford went on to say that a “popular commentator” — without naming any names — threatened to “destroy” him if he negotiated the deal during a presidential election year, regardless of what was in it.

“I will do whatever I can to destroy you, because I do not want you to solve this during the presidential election,” Lankford recounted the commentator saying.

“By the way, they have been faithful to their promise, and have done everything they can to destroy me,” he added.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/sen-lankford-says-popular-commentator-200553824.html

College-educated voters aren’t saving Nikki Haley — yet

“even as Haley’s support has grown among these types of Republicans, she’s still far from Trump’s levels of support. Instead, Haley has found herself on par with DeSantis, who started the cycle in a much stronger position but has steadily declined. Even among college-educated voters, where Haley has experienced the greatest growth, she’s trailing Trump by about 30 points nationally and is only ahead of DeSantis by about 5.”

https://abcnews.go.com/538/college-educated-voters-arent-saving-nikki-haley/story?id=106236805

Why Republicans are pursuing an unfounded impeachment inquiry into Biden

“So far, Republicans have found that Biden’s son, Hunter, made millions of dollars while his father was vice president. Devon Archer, a business associate of Hunter Biden’s, has previously testified to the House Oversight Committee that businesses were interested in working with Hunter in part due to his proximity to the Biden “brand.”

One key piece of evidence Republicans have cited from Archer’s testimony is that Biden participated in roughly 20 phone calls with Hunter’s business contacts. However, Archer stressed those encounters consisted of small talk like the weather and not issues of substance. Archer also testified that he hadn’t seen President Biden attempt to use his office to help Hunter advance his career.

Some “evidence,” such as claims Biden engaged in quid pro quo schemes, have been disproved. Others, like testimony from whistleblowers who claim the government gave Hunter Biden lenient treatment in its investigations into potential misconduct, have been largely discredited. As the New York Times explained, “there is no evidence that Mr. Biden ordered that his son get special treatment in any investigation.”

Overall, House Republicans’ investigations have not found any actual, concrete proof of wrongdoing by President Biden. As a result, their decision to keep on backing an inquiry is surprising, since it’s historically not been done until there’s significant evidence of misconduct. Republicans have argued that the inquiry will help them gather this information: It provides a legal framework that could enable these committees to gain more subpoena powers for documents, though the legal precedent for this is unclear, and though the inquiry is now formalized, any subpoenas are likely to be met with lawsuits.

Republicans who are backing the House vote on the inquiry argue it will give lawmakers even more legal grounds to subpoena witnesses and documents from the White House. “That doesn’t mean we have high crimes or misdemeanors. We may not ever. But let’s get the facts, and we’ll go from there,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), a swing-district Republican, told the Hill.”

“Multiple Republicans — including Senate leaders like Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) — have expressed concerns that the GOP is moving forward on an inquiry without providing clear evidence of the offenses it will center on. “I think before you begin an impeachment inquiry, you ought to have some evidence, some inclination that there’s been wrongdoing. And so far, there’s nothing of that nature that’s been provided,” said Romney in an NBC News interview. In that same interview, he noted that he would vote against an inquiry if he were a member of the House.”

https://www.vox.com/politics/2023/9/13/23871948/biden-impeachment-inquiry-kevin-mccarthy