Donald Trump is reportedly “furious” at the embarrassingly low attendance at his Tulsa, Oklahoma rally, initially scheduled for Juneteenth but moved to the next day in response to the obvious criticism. Tulsa, of course, is the site of one of the most violent pogroms against a blossoming local black community, part of a wave of violence kicked off after the movie Birth of a Nation marked (and also inspired) the resurrection of the Klan.
Teenagers across the country strategically RSVP’d for the rally, leading the campaign to boast of the massive expected numbers. That, in turn, probably dissuaded some people from attending. Why stand in the heat with 200,000 people, many of them infected with the plague, just to get turned away from a packed arena? Trump is said to be livid with his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who is already on thin ice, blamed for Tump’s poor polling. That’s good for Democrats, because, this snafu aside, Parscale is dangerously good at his job. The more he’s marginalized, the better for Biden.
New York and Kentucky have primaries on Tuesday, with a whole slew of progressives challenging incumbents up and down the ballot in New York. Here’s a rundown of the most interesting races. Jamaal Bowman is angling to knock off Eliot Engel (who is getting help from Republicans), and Yvette Clarke and Carolyn Maloney might lose to challengers too. And Mondaire Jones, heavily backed by the institutional progressive world, might win an open primary just outside the city.
In Kentucky, Amy McGrath has spent $30 million to find herself trailing in the primary to Charles Booker, who had raised less than a million until the last few weeks. Mail in voting has been going on for some time, so if she somehow survives, it’s because he surged just a bit too late. But his campaign is confident there are enough votes outstanding to eclipse her. Much of it, sadly, will come down to the mechanics of voting on Election Day. There is only one polling location in all of Louisville. If there’s chaos, it helps McGrath. Booker’s closing add -- “From the Hood to the Holler” -- is a contemporary version of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, and it’s quite something, one of the most effective closing ads I’ve seen.
A couple pieces from earlier you might like:
One of the nation’s top federal judges sent a bizarre, court-wide email mangling the history of the Civil War to give it a “both sides” kind of feel, and a clerk responded to him, also replying-all. Very, very much worth the read.
And with Matthew Cunningham-Cook, I have a piece on the legacy of Juneteenth, and the importance of understanding the central role the enslaved people themselves played in their emancipation.
This piece in Foreign Affairs (which I did not write), The Rise of Strategic Corruption, is quite important, and awfully frightening.