Ukraine Goes on Offense
It's time to change the nature of our military aid.
Russia seems to be pulling out of the western part of Ukraine in order to consolidate the southeast. If this is happening, then the nature of Western military aid should change, too.
Wes Clark thinks this means we need to start supplying the Ukrainians with tanks, artillery, and aircraft. I’m open to that concept. It will be hard to push Russian forces out of territory they actually control—harder than attacking the supply lines of an invading force.
I don’t know that armor is the answer—the fate of Russia’s tanks makes me nervous about committing resources in this way. And before pushing artillery at the Ukrainians, I’d want to see how effective the Switchblade drones are in the field.
But we may be at a moment where Ukrainian needs shift from defensive, urban warfare to waging counteroffensives against defended positions. That is likely to mean changing needs in weaponry and supplies. This is a moment for NATO and the West to be aggressive in their aid so that the Ukrainians can keep the Russian forces off-balance.
Because once Mariupol falls—reports suggest there are only about 100,000 people left in the city—Russia will begin to dig in with the goal of raising the cost of dislodging them so as to increase their bargaining position.
2. Democrats Need To Be More Centrist?
Since not everyone seems to understand why the Democrats urgently need a centrist re-set, let us go once more unto the breach with Ruy Teixeira.
Biden, to his credit, is currently trying to respond to market signals and move the party in the direction suggested by the findings above. But it’s a tough slog when the Democratic left is nipping at his heels every step of the way. And offering advice like this, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who has 13 million Twitter followers and 8.5 million Instagram followers:
We need to acknowledge that this isn’t just about middle of the road, an increasingly narrow band of independent voters. This is really about the collapse of support among young people, among the Democratic base, who are feeling that they worked overtime to get this president elected and aren’t necessarily being seen.
This all-too-typical disparagement of the political center is precisely the wrong direction for the Democrats to go in. This especially comes into focus when you consider where the big stakes are in the 2022 election—not in AOC’s +25 Democratic-leaning House district and among her progressive activist followers but rather in competitive House districts and swing Senate states, where voters are far, far more moderate.
In case the blockquotes are confusing, that’s Charlie quoting Ruy Teixeira, who’s pointing to a statement from AOC, and then adding his (Ruy’s) own commentary.
Counterpoint: The Biden administration’s major activities have been:
Passing an American Rescue Plan bill which created the most significant pro-family tax policy in a generation.
Getting America to 72 percent of the population fully vaccinated.
Passing an infrastructure law so bipartisan that 19 Republican senators voted for it.
Nominating a SCOTUS candidate so qualified that she has the highest approval rating of any nominee since John Roberts.
Managing American involvement in a major war so that America’s ally is winning, our alliance is unified, the war has not spilled over, and American troops have not needed to get directly involved.
Calling for a $32 billion increase in funding for law enforcement.
Stewarding the economy to a place where job growth is on a historic upward trajectory.
At first glance, the 431,000 jobs added in March look like a deceleration from the job growth totals for January and February — a revised 504,000 and 750,000 jobs added, respectively.
But employers still added more jobs in March than all but one month of the decade-long expansion during the 2010s.
For all the concerns about worker shortages, employers are finding new workers somewhere, on a scale unmatched in decades.
The unemployment rate fell two-tenths to 3.6%, and is now only a tenth of a percent above the low achieved during the last expansion.
Trends in the labor force are exactly what you'd expect to see if the labor shortage issues were starting to abate.
The number of people in the labor force rose by 418,000. The share of adults who were employed rose to 60.1% — the highest since before the pandemic.
The share of people of prime working age — 25 to 54 — who are employed climbed particularly fast, rising half a percentage point to 80%.
Wages are rising, up 0.4% in March and up 5.6% over the last year.
The bad news: That's too slow to keep up with inflation.
The good news: It doesn’t suggest an inflationary upward spiral in wages and prices.
The bottom line: Two years ago, we had mass unemployment. Now, amid an exceptionally fast recovery, the job market looks increasingly healthy and normal.
Where is the radical, progressive, woke agenda?
When you look at Ruy’s complaint it basically boils down to AOC having an iPhone.
And look: I get it! I would very much like someone in the Big Tech Deep State to lock AOC’s social accounts between now and November so that she doesn’t say stuff that can be used against Democratic candidates in swing districts. Would be great if you could get on that, @Jack. Thanks, bro.
But are there policy choices that the Democrats in charge of the federal government could have made in a more centrist manner up to this point? If we installed Mitt Romney as the president’s chief of staff