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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

In his column, “Gingrich Attacks Will Help Romney And Hurt Obama,” Jonathan Alter argues that Mitt Romney may benefit from Newt Gingrich’s continued efforts to label him as a moderate:

Newt Gingrich was so bitter after his Florida loss that he neither called Mitt Romney to concede nor congratulated him in his primary-night speech. Now he’s hell- bent on chasing Romney around the U.S. for the next seven months making his life miserable. Who does this help? I say Romney.

The competition doesn’t “prepare” Romney for the fall, as he said when declaring victory in Florida. But Gingrich’s presence in the race does have the perverse effect of making Romney seem more rational and centrist, which will help a lot in the general election.

Conventional wisdom holds that a long and brutal Republican primary campaign can only benefit Barack Obama, if for no other reason than that it gives Romney more chances to make another dumb gaffe, like saying “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” Obama backers smile at the prospect of Gingrich crisscrossing the country exacting revenge for Florida.

The cover of the New Yorker this week shows a happy president tuning into football only to find he’s watching Romney and Gingrich grapple on the gridiron. Because Democrats aren’t fortunate enough to have Gingrich as the doomed Republican nominee (“I did not think I had lived a good enough life” for that, Barney Frank joked last fall), they’ll settle for the human time bomb blowing more holes in the listing hull of the USS Romney.

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Marchers at January 22 anti-vaccination demonstration in Washington, D.C>

Back when it was first gaining traction in the 1990s, the anti-vaccination movement was largely considered a far-left thing, attracting believers ranging from barter-fair hippies to New Age gurus and their followers to “holistic medicine” practitioners. And it largely remained that way … until 2020 and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As this Sunday’s “Defeat the Mandates” march in Washington, D.C., however, showed us, there’s no longer anything even remotely left-wing about the movement. Populated with Proud Boys and “Patriot” militiamen, QAnoners and other Alex Jones-style conspiracists who blithely indulge in Holocaust relativism and other barely disguised antisemitism, and ex-hippies who now spout right-wing propaganda—many of them, including speakers, encouraging and threatening violence—the crowd at the National Mall manifested the reality that “anti-vaxxers” now constitute a full-fledged far-right movement, and a potentially violent one at that.

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