Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) at a House Appropriations Committee meeting in Washington last month.
Bill Clark / Zuma Press
The president’s party tends to suffer from mid-term congressional elections. The risk to White House allies is particularly acute when a president turns down the opportunity to rule from the center and instead seeks to massive changes in partisan votes. Given this terrain, some Democrats seem to have concluded that the best strategy for 2022 is not to tell people that they are Democrats.
Reports for Axios:
A growing number of Democratic candidates in the House of Representatives say the party needs to radically improve its heartland appeal in order to have any hope of retaining power in Washington … With control of the House and Senate on the bubble, many ambitious Democrats – from the South to the Midwest in the Rockies – stand against the image of their own national party.
Ms. McCammond added:
After listening to President Trump for four years, many rural voters are reflexively suspicious of advanced solutions for everything from the pandemic to infrastructure. In 3min. Advertisement for his Senate campaign, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan never says he’s a Democrat.
That’s not all he never says. Readers may remember Mr. Ryan for his unique contribution in the election campaign for the 2020 presidential candidacy of the Democrats. As he was preparing for the run, a 2018 report was posted on the Intercept noticed:
Ryan’s borough is one of the few poor, mostly white boroughs that is represented by a Democrat. But he’s not going to walk on a stereotypical working class personality; Instead, he believes his way into the White House is through the “yoga vote.” Ryan has long been an advocate of mindfulness, meditation, and related activities, and has even created a “quiet time caucus” in the House of Representatives.
As part of his complete transformation from Heartland Tribune to Democratic presidential candidate, Mr. Ryan had spent several years evolving his political positions from pro-life to pro-choice and from pro-gun rights to pro-gun control. After the sharp turn to the left, it was Ryan’s lifestyle that really shaped his national campaign. Eric Bradner from CNN noticed in 2019:
Rep. Tim Ryan wants to become America’s “Zen President”. On Tuesday night, the Ohio Congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate hosted a fundraiser in New York City that included a yoga class and breathing session … the event was part of what Ryan said he expected it to be an ongoing issue his candidacy will be: Be mindful.
Now in 2020, Mr Ryan appears to be aware that his constituents in Ohio don’t always share the same interests as the coastal donors he courted while running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In his Campaign launch video, Mr. Ryan doesn’t say a word about yoga. He doesn’t say anything about his election record either, but prefers to talk about his love for grandparents and football before describing a vague plan to “rethink” the economy.
Ryan’s recent rebranding could be a model for the Democrats in 2022. But perhaps the party’s leadership should spend some time pondering why some Democratic candidates are reluctant to mention their party affiliations and policies to the electorate.
Energy or something in the executive
Mark Leibovich writes in the New York Times on the service of the White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain to the President:
White House officials, who saw their momentum, say Mr. Klain is an expert at focusing conversations with Mr. Biden on specific actions, which is not always easy given the president’s habit of verbal meanders.
Reclaiming freedom after the pandemic
“Did COVID Kill the Constitution?” Asks attorney Richard Klingler, a former Justice Counsel Sandra Day O’Connor and a veteran of the White House Legal Aid during the George W. Bush administration.
Mr. Klingler writes:
With the Supreme Court coming to an end and most of the COVID restrictions in the country, it’s fair to ask if the courts and the Constitution let us down when we needed them most. After all, the restrictions related to COVID were the largest peacetime use of the government’s emergency powers and one of the most extensive and serious violations of American civil liberties … At the start of the pandemic, Chief Justice Roberts and four other progressive judges opposed challenges to COVID- Removed restrictions that restricted worship and chose to leave it to the state governments. Then Judge Barrett joined the court. Just before Thanksgiving, the new Conservative majority lifted a New York COVID restriction that restricted religious practice. In an unusually bitter exchange with Chief Justice Roberts, who had again urged respect for government measures, Judge Gorsuch described the postponement as “dissolving the constitution during a pandemic”. The old order of total reverence was over, at least for boundaries that applied unevenly to religion. The response from the Supreme Court, however, went little further. A handful of mostly federal court judges used constitutional principles to marginally limit COVID bans. And some federal judges found constitutional principles when they lifted the CDC’s restrictions on lease enforcement for other reasons. In late June, the Supreme Court rejected this question. This reaction was anemic given the magnitude of the restrictions … The government forbade many of us from visiting families, mourning the dead, raising our children, travel, public or private contacts, politics, dancing, enforcement of property contracts, sharing Praying to perform, run our business, or make a living. The Constitution was largely, it seemed, irrelevant. This outcome was not inevitable … the Constitution was designed to protect a wide range of widely understood freedoms. Some are highlighted in the constitution and some are not. But the generations of the foundation and the second foundation after the civil war had no difficulty in identifying them. We shouldn’t either.
James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China, and the Revival of the US.”
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