Yes, it’s still looking like John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania

(dis)United Kingdom

Prime minister


Fig. 1. President Reagan on the South Lawn during the arrival ceremony of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom. U.S. Government photograph, November 16, 1988, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Greg Ip, “The Return of Inflation Makes Deficits More Dangerous,” Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-return-of-inflation-makes-deficits-more-dangerous-11664366538

Heather Stewart, “Stick, twist … or sack Kwasi Kwarteng? The choices facing Liz Truss,” Guardian, September 28, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/sep/28/stick-twist-or-sack-kwasi-kwarteng-the-choices-facing-liz-truss

Pippa Crerar, Peter Walker, and Phillip Inman, “Liz Truss to hold emergency talks with OBR after failing to calm markets,” Guardian, September 29, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/sep/29/liz-truss-to-hold-emergency-talks-with-obr-after-failing-to-calm-markets

Adam Taylor, “Kwasi Kwarteng and the ideology behind the British pound’s collapse,” Washington Post, September 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/09/29/kwasi-kwarteng-ideology-behind-british-pounds-collapse/


Illiberalism


Fig. 2. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

I guess this didn’t take very long. After deciding I needed to pay attention to illiberalism as a wider ecosystem including Europe, I’m now taking it global. There just isn’t any coherence to the limited scope.

Ishaan Tharoor, “‘Tropical Trump’ takes Brazil’s democracy to the brink,” Washington Post, September 30, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/09/30/bolsonaro-trump-brazil-election-democracy/


Pennsylvania

2022 election


Fig. 1. There’s much too much of this kind of thing to be seen around Pittsburgh. Photograph taken by author through his windshield, May 17, 2022, just outside Braddock, Pennsylvania.

An earlier report had suggested that polls, a bogus non-methodology, showed the race between John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz for a Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat tightening.[1] Naturally, this provokes a certain angst: Even if, thanks to the still prevalent neoliberalism of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, I’ll never vote for a Democrat again, I certainly don’t want the white Christian nationalists to win.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette digs into more recent numbers more deeply, and yes, it appears the race is tightening.[2] But this is a “yes, but,” not a “yes.”

The Post-Gazette report suggests—as I have suspected—that a plurality of independents support Fetterman. Oz seems to be improving his support only among Republicans, which suggests that there is a cap to his support.[3]

My expectation has been that independents are more likely to care about abortion rights and a lot less likely to buy into Donald Trump’s “Stop The Steal” bullshit. As I write this, it strikes me also that they are more likely to be concerned about the competitive authoritarian regime project: When they swing their votes, they’re going to want that swing to count. (These effects, of course, will be limited to the extent that independents are actually paying attention.)

In the yard sign race (an even more bogus methodology[4]), I am seeing a few more signs for Oz and Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, usually right next to each other. Where there are signs supporting only one of the Republican candidates, they are for Oz, suggesting that Mastriano is failing to attract even all the support that Oz is winning.

Mastriano’s record[5] probably limits his appeal beyond his base anyway but he’s only campaigning for the folks—in the typology of my dissertation,[6] paleoconservatives and social conservatives—who would vote for him anyway,[7] really a mere subset even of white Christian nationalism.

It’s hard for me to see why I should change my earlier expectation that Mastriano and Oz will lose[8] based on this.

Mariana Alfaro and Annabelle Timsit, “GOP governor nominee once urged murder charges for women getting abortions,” Washington Post, September 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/28/doug-mastriano-abortion/

William Bender and Jonathan Tamari, “As campaign struggles, Doug Mastriano plans ‘40 days of fasting and prayer,’” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-fasting-prayer-campaign-rally-struggling-20220928.html

Julia Terruso and Jonathan Lai, “Pa. Republicans are gaining on Democrats in registered voters. We look at what that really means,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-voter-registration-data-democrats-republicans-20220928.html

Gillian McGoldrick, “Fetterman’s lead in U.S. Senate race is shrinking as Oz wins over GOP voters, latest poll shows,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 29, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/election2022/2022/09/29/fetterman-vs-oz-poll-franklin-marshall-college-republican-support-pa-senate-race-mastriano-vs-shapiro/stories/202209290087


Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[9] fair use.

Vladimir Putin is digging himself in deeper.[10]

Şebnem Arsu et al., “Putin Bets It All in Ukraine,” Spiegel, September 23, 2022, https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/no-more-illusions-putin-bets-it-all-in-ukraine-a-a94b78fd-a99b-4196-a0a6-0332057337ea

Pjotr Sauer and Dan Sabbagh, “Border queues build as people flee Russia to escape Putin’s call-up,” Guardian, September 23, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/23/border-queues-build-as-people-flee-russia-to-escape-putin-call-up

David L. Stern and Robyn Dixon, “With Kalashnikov rifles, Russia drives the staged vote in Ukraine,” Washington Post, September 24, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/24/ukraine-putin-referendums/

Robyn Dixon et al., “Russian mobilization prompts backlash as Ukraine annexation effort plows ahead,” Washington Post, September 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/25/russia-ukraine-mobilization-referendums/

Edward Helmore, “Jake Sullivan: US will act ‘decisively’ if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine,” Guardian, September 25, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/25/us-russia-ukraine-war-nuclear-weapons-jake-sullivan

Yaroslav Trofimov, “Pushing East of Kupyansk, Ukrainian Forces Expand Offensive,” Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/pushing-east-of-kupyansk-ukrainian-forces-expand-offensive-11664111037

Ishaan Tharoor, “The right-wing turn against Ukraine may be around the corner,” Washington Post, September 26, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/09/26/ukraine-west-right-wing-fatigue-italy/

Michael Horovitz, “Medvedev asserts Russia’s ‘right’ to use nukes to defend its territory,” Times of Israel, September 27, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/medvedev-affirms-russias-right-to-use-nukes-to-defend-its-territory/

Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s Male Fragility,” Puck News, September 27, 2022, https://puck.news/putins-male-fragility/

Anatol Lieven, “Putin’s regime may fall – but what would come next?” Guardian, September 27, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/27/putin-regime-fall-ukraine-west-negotiate

Agence France-Presse, “‘Full chaos’: Over 100,000 Russians flood neighboring countries to flee army call-up,” Times of Israel, September 28, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-chaos-over-100000-russians-flood-neighboring-countries-to-flee-army/

Bloomberg, “Putin Raises Gas-Cutoff Threat as He Moves to Annex Ukraine Regions,” September 28, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-27/putin-raises-gas-pressure-as-he-moves-to-annex-ukraine-regions

Jennifer Hansler, “US Embassy warns Americans to leave Russia,” Cable News Network, September 28, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/28/politics/us-embassy-russia-warns-americans-leave/index.html

Meg Kelly and Michael Birnbaum, “E.U. warns of ‘robust’ response against sabotage after Nord Stream blasts,” Washington Post, September 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/28/nord-stream-russia-methane-leak-baltic-sea/

Times of Israel, “Suspecting Nord Stream sabotage, EU vows ‘robust’ response to energy network attacks,” September 28, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/suspecting-nord-stream-sabotage-eu-vows-robust-response-to-energy-network-attacks/

Sarah Cahlan et al., “Russians rebel as Putin drafts more people in battle for Ukraine,” Washington Post, September 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/29/russia-putin-mobilization-protests-fury/

Drew Hinshaw, Matthew Dalton, and Laurence Norman, “NATO Formally Blames Sabotage for Nord Stream Pipeline Damage,” Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-formally-blames-sabotage-for-nord-stream-pipeline-damage-11664449396

Ann M. Simmons and Yuliya Chernova, “Russia Announces Annexation of Four Regions of Ukraine,” Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-prepares-treaties-to-annex-ukrainian-land-11664536196

Eli Stokols, “U.S. sanctions Russia after Putin annexes parts of Ukraine,” Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-09-30/u-s-sanctions-russia-after-putin-annexes-ukraine


  1. [1]Ryan Deto, “Pennsylvania’s high-stakes U.S. Senate race between Oz, Fetterman tightens,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 16, 2022, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvanias-high-stakes-u-s-senate-race-between-oz-fetterman-tightens/
  2. [2]Gillian McGoldrick, “Fetterman’s lead in U.S. Senate race is shrinking as Oz wins over GOP voters, latest poll shows,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 29, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/election2022/2022/09/29/fetterman-vs-oz-poll-franklin-marshall-college-republican-support-pa-senate-race-mastriano-vs-shapiro/stories/202209290087
  3. [3]Gillian McGoldrick, “Fetterman’s lead in U.S. Senate race is shrinking as Oz wins over GOP voters, latest poll shows,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 29, 2022, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/election2022/2022/09/29/fetterman-vs-oz-poll-franklin-marshall-college-republican-support-pa-senate-race-mastriano-vs-shapiro/stories/202209290087
  4. [4]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, September 29, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  5. [5]Mariana Alfaro and Annabelle Timsit, “GOP governor nominee once urged murder charges for women getting abortions,” Washington Post, September 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/28/doug-mastriano-abortion/; William Bender, “Doug Mastriano’s comments on Islam and climate change resurface, the latest hit for his campaign,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 19, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-islam-global-warming-2018-governor-pennsylvania-20220819.html; Chris Brennan, “Doug Mastriano wore a Confederate Army uniform in an Army War College faculty photo,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 26, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/doug-mastriano-confederate-uniform-photo-army-war-college-20220826.html; Mariana Alfaro and Annabelle Timsit, “GOP governor nominee once urged murder charges for women getting abortions,” Washington Post, September 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/28/doug-mastriano-abortion/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  7. [7]William Bender and Jonathan Tamari, “As campaign struggles, Doug Mastriano plans ‘40 days of fasting and prayer,’” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-fasting-prayer-campaign-rally-struggling-20220928.html; Ron Kampeas, “Critics compare salutes at Trump and Mastriano rallies to Nazi ‘Sieg Heil,’” Times of Israel, September 20, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/critics-compare-salutes-at-trump-mastriano-rallies-to-nazi-sieg-heil/; Dana Milbank, “And on the eighth day, God said: Let Mastriano win Pennsylvania,” Washington Post, September 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/09/doug-mastriano-prophet-julie-green/; Tina Nguyen, “Doug Mastriano’s Snowflake Strategy,” Puck News, September 14, 2022, https://puck.news/doug-mastrianos-snowflake-strategy/
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Spring in November?” Not Housebroken, September 26, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/09/19/spring-in-november/
  9. [9]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  10. [10]Ann M. Simmons and Yuliya Chernova, “Russia Announces Annexation of Four Regions of Ukraine,” Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-prepares-treaties-to-annex-ukrainian-land-11664536196; Eli Stokols, “U.S. sanctions Russia after Putin annexes parts of Ukraine,” Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-09-30/u-s-sanctions-russia-after-putin-annexes-ukraine

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