From The Topline <[email protected]>
Subject The week in review
Date June 4, 2021 7:30 PM
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DeJoy investigation, Israel's political shakeup, and more

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After the Capitol insurrection, many of us optimistically and somewhat naively believed that eyes would finally be opened, and the GOP would at last extricate itself from its current destructive course. Even though the party had a perfect offramp, it did not take it—in fact, it charged on ahead even more recklessly than before. So, though it sometimes feels like searching for a needle in a haystack, here at THE TOPLINE, we like to acknowledge and support public officials who have stood up for truth when it wasn't easy or politically expedient for them to do so. Reps. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and Peter Meijer, Sens. Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski, notable state officials like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and election official Gabriel Sterling, to name a few, have all earned praise here for taking such a stand. We won't agree with them on every issue, but we share a basic commitment to facts and respect for our constitutional processes. That continues to give us hope and
deserves recognition. Is there someone else who should have the TOPLINE spotlight shone on them? Let us know ([link removed]) . Have a great weekend! —Melissa Amour, Managing Editor

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** Parker: Jan. 6 will live in infamy

"While embracing or ignoring Trump's statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6, and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system." —Kathleen Parker in ([link removed]) The Washington Post ([link removed])

Kathleen Parker is a columnist at
The Washington Post covering politics and culture.

MORE: Capitol riot caused nearly $1.5 million in damage, federal prosecutors say —The Hill ([link removed])

** Waldman: Time for DeJoy to move on

"It's up to the [U.S. Postal Service's] board whether to remove [Postmaster General Louis] DeJoy—and even before news of this FBI investigation they had plenty of justification for doing so. From the outset, his tenure has been marked by turmoil, mail slowdowns, and controversy. He appears determined to stay as long as possible, if for no other reason than to stick it to his enemies." —Paul Waldman in ([link removed]) The Washington Post ([link removed])

Paul Waldman is a political columnist at
The Washington Post.

MORE: FBI investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over campaign fundraising —CBS News ([link removed])

** Wemple: Leakers...heels or heroes?

"In a statement from The New York Times, Executive Editor Dean Baquet said, 'Seizing the phone records of journalists profoundly undermines press freedom. It threatens to silence the sources we depend on to provide the public with essential information about what the government is doing.' That's true, though let's give all those sources some credit here: Surely they knew about Trump's hostility toward leakers, yet they spoke up anyway." —Erik Wemple in ([link removed]) The Washington Post ([link removed])

Erik Wemple is
The Washington Post's media critic, focusing on the cable-news industry.

MORE: Trump DOJ secretly obtained phone records of New York Times reporters —Axios ([link removed])

** Kurtzer, Miller & Simon: What's next for Netanyahu?

"[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] will go into the opposition, where he'll preside over the largest and most coherent political party in the country with a band of still-loyal followers. Netanyahu's trial for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust will continue, most likely for months, all while he seeks to pressure right-wing members of the new government and works to secure its collapse. If and when it does, Netanyahu—still the most dominant and skilled politician in a country where 72% voted for right-wing parties in the most recent election—may be well-positioned to pick up the pieces." —Daniel Kurtzer, Aaron David Miller & Steven Simon in ([link removed]) Politico ([link removed])

Daniel Kurtzer is a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and the S. Daniel Abraham professor of Middle East policy studies at Princeton University. Aaron David Miller is a former State Department Middle East analyst and negotiator and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment. Steven Simon previously served on the U.S. National Security Council and at the State Department and is a professor of international relations at Colby College.

MORE: Thomas Friedman: Bibi is Trump and the Israeli Change Coalition is Biden —The New York Times ([link removed])
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** Parks: Arizona audit is a disinformation blueprint

"The audit is a perfect example of how false information can be used to fuel more false information in a seemingly never-ending cycle. A recent Fox News poll found that 82% of Trump voters believe that illegal voting is a 'major threat' to the stability of the U.S., even though election fraud has never been revealed to be a widespread issue in American politics. Those fears were surely amplified by Trump's false rhetoric around election security last year. Now Republican lawmakers are using those fears to justify major changes to state voting laws, as many officials feared they would." —Miles Parks on NPR ([link removed])

Miles Parks is an NPR reporter based in Washington, covering voting and elections.

MORE: 'We should be very worried': Top Arizona election official sounds alarm over GOP's war against democracy —Independent ([link removed])

** Dent: If you lie down with extremists...

"This kind of weakness, failure to speak out publicly, and lack of legislative action on substantive policy matters created a political vacuum for extreme voices like Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who have gained a foothold in the GOP with their politics of grievance, conspiracy theories, nativism, nihilism, and dishonesty. We are now living with the consequences." —Charlie Dent on ([link removed]) CNN ([link removed])

Charlie Dent formerly represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he chaired the House Ethics Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies.

MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene's 'Fire Fauci Act' gains co-sponsors after email dump —Newsweek ([link removed])

** Boot: The 2024 nightmare scenario

"Many congressional Republicans will refuse to certify a 2024 Democratic win in swing states. If Republicans control Congress, they could deny the Democrats an Electoral College majority and throw the election to the House—where each state delegation, regardless of population, would cast one ballot. Given that Republicans already control a majority of state delegations, they could override the election outcome. If that happens, it would spell the end of American democracy." —Max Boot in ([link removed]) The Washington Post ([link removed])

Max Boot is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

MORE: Bob Bauer and Ben Ginsberg: State election officials are under attack. We will defend them —The New York Times ([link removed])

** 'We were overwhelmed with love'
In December, Leticia Flores-Gonzalez's 4-year-old twin daughters, Luna and Gianella, tied their Christmas wish lists to balloons and released them into the sky above their home in Liberal, Kansas. It was their way of reaching Santa Claus. "It was important doing something special for my girls because of the hard year we had during the coronavirus pandemic," Flores-Gonzalez said. She never expected anything to come of it. But one of those balloons did make it to a man with white facial hair—and a big heart. Alvin Bamburg was deer hunting in Grand Cane, Louisiana, when he spotted one of the balloons tangled in a tree. He shared his discovery on Facebook. So many people shared the post that it eventually reached Flores-Gonzalez, who was shocked. She received requests to share Gianella's list, as well. Soon, both girls began receiving gifts from Bamburg's family and friends. In mid-April, after months of communication, Bamburg and his wife, Lee Ann, drove six hours to meet Flores-Gonzalez and
the twins in person. "It was clear we had a connection," Bamburg said. "When we met, it was just like meeting family." The Bamburgs presented the girls with a dachshund puppy, fulfilling Luna's wish list. The girls were overjoyed and quickly named him Max. "To us, it isn't the amount of gifts or the value that the girls are receiving," Flores-Gonzalez said. "It's the love they received. It meant the world to us we see their smiles, and the lifelong friendship we have made with Alvin and his wife." As for Bamburg, he hopes his story will inspire others to take a break from their busy lives and find a way to make someone else's day a little bit brighter. —CNN ([link removed])

I like Bill M.'s comparison of two true patriot heroes (Bush/McCain) to those who call themselves leaders in the Republican Party today. One of the many reasons why I became an Independent a few months ago was the way in which Trump, a cowardly draft dodger, had the temerity to call into question the courage of the late John McCain. —Allen P., Massachusetts

I'm old enough to recall the Iraq election in 2005 when Republicans in this country smiled with pride about the "purple fingers" displayed in Iraq by those who voted. Turnout was phenomenal. Iraqis literally risked their lives to vote. Republicans did not try to keep anyone from voting, they didn't push for limiting polling hours, and so on. Our military provided security. In fact, from George W. Bush on down, Republicans called on everyone to vote. The spread of democracy.

Many of those same Republicans, and more, are now giving the middle finger to Americans when it comes to voting. We tried to spread democracy 20 years ago to the Middle East, only to kill it here. Do as we say, but not as we do. The same people who want all people to vote in another country, want to keep people from voting here. As a veteran in a family of veterans, I am disgusted by the actions of anyone who tries to stop people from voting, especially in this country. —Bill T., Arizona

** The views expressed in "What's Your Take?" are submitted by readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff or the Stand Up Republic Foundation.
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