Saxman: Vega, Kiggans, Gas Tax Cut = Tribalism

Reminder – today 3pm Virginia FREE – tropical version.

Reporting from the sunny shores of Punta Cana in the lead up to our son’s wedding on Sunday, I couldn’t let the news of the week go without offering some observations.

  1. The Virginia GOP is getting smarter. They have adjusted their sails to the political winds and nominated three candidates for Congress that GREATLY enhance their demographic diversity. Hung Cao (cow) is the nominee in the 10th CD and will face incumbent Jennifer Wexton, Yesli Vega from Prince William will take on incumbent Abigail Spanberger, and Jennifer Kiggans (Va Beach) will face another incumbent Elaine Luria. Women and minorities helped the national GOP win net seats in Congress in 2020 despite Donald Trump losing by 7MM votes.
  2. Both Vega and Kiggans won their nominations by running up vote totals in their home localities which are also the most populous in their districts. Thank you VPAP for the visuals here – first the 7th CD and then the 2nd CD.

    Issues can come and go, but as we have heard so often – politics is local.

  3. Incumbent Don Beyer (D) in 8th CD easily won his nomination over Victoria Virasingh who ran as the “more progressive candidate.” Virasingh ran offering more diversity and looking to cancel $50k of higher ed debt per student. But look at the turn out in the 8th which is ostensibly the general election:

4. I paid $5.99 for premium on Tuesday. Here is the current national average.

5. The FDA is looking to “slash nicotine levels in cigarettes.” Politically, this is obviously going to get cigarette smokers in the game. Here is a CDC link on who smokes cigarettes. Who knows, maybe the FDA will take the same thinking and apply it to THC in marijuana.

6. Okay – remember the article I linked:
The Myth of Ideological Polarization ‘Left’ and ‘right’ are illusory categories. What we’re really experiencing is tribal hostility. Basically our politics is far more tribal than ideological. VERY interesting article. HIGHLY recommend.

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7. Enter the Gas Tax Cut. Here in Virginia the Executive Branch headed by Republican Glenn Youngkin proposed a three month suspension of the Virginia gas tax as a way to alleviate the pain at the pump. Leaders of the Senate in Virginia’s legislature said it was a gimmick and voted it down just last week. Enter the Executive Branch of the federal government headed up by Democrat Joe Biden who this week proposed a three month suspension of the gas tax as a way to alleviate the pain at the pump. Republican Senators in the federal legislature called it a gimmick. Final paragraph of the above linked article:

Rather than fighting over which group has moved farther leftward or rightward on a spectrum, Democrats and Republicans—not to mention political scientists—should dispense entirely with the fiction that there is a single spectrum to move around on. Doing so would help them think clearly about political issues and act charitably toward those outside their political tribe.

Basically, all of those candidates who are running as the more conservative and more progressive have just had Bullshit called on them. They are only more angry; however, that’s because they reflect the angry tribes who tend to show up more often than general election voters in nominations.

8. Enter the gun debate. Now, Texas Senator John Cornyn is being called…of course…a RINO/moderate/sellout for working with his colleagues in response to the Uvalde massacre. Here is the rating of the NRA.

From Axios is this stomach churning story. #GoodJournalism. Mike Allen (W&L ‘86) synopsis:

Arizona Republican Speaker of the House, Rusty Bowers, gave compelling and moving testimony to the 1/6 Committee. It’s worth your time.

Aaaanddd finally some other graphics to get you thinking.

Health care is so expensive because we are not living healthy.

Housing prices are way ahead of wages and have been for over 50 years. #NeedsSolutions

Big Oil is really Big Energy. With policy makers pushing renewables for the future, that’s where capital expenditures (CapEx) are going vs. trying to get supply ahead of demand in oil and natural gas. It’s just math, folks. Investments are about the future. Want to see more supply? Change policy. #PolicyMatters

And just because one never knows…

Next time you are about to take off on a plane – cue up this bad boy as you turn down the runway and look out the window. #Chills


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