Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy face off at the GOP debate on November 8. (Photo by Jonathan Newton via Getty Images)

TGIF: Jihadis Get Lost in Translation

Anne Frank is offensive. Building wells is bad. Chinatown is evil. Silence is violence. War is peace.

Good morning, everyone! I’m on a plane to D.C., where Bar’s giving a talk. So this will be shorter than your usual endless primal scream. But I couldn’t miss a week for something silly like my wife’s career (which is adorable—I love working women!). Anyway, I know my commenters need a place to call home. 

Pro-lyfe? Go-life? Sorry, I don’t recognize that phrase: Republicans fared badly in a few elections Tuesday, largely driven by voters’ widespread rejection of pro-life politics. Americans are moderately pro-choice and most importantly, do not want a long, drawn-out battle over it again. Can you imagine? Who has that kind of energy? Ohio easily passed new abortion rights protections. From ABC News exit polls: 61 percent of voters in Ohio said that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And in Virginia, Democrats who campaigned on abortion rights swept the election to take control of the state legislature. As conservative firebrand Ann Coulter put it: “Pro-life is the ‘defund the police’ of the GOP.” 

One solution Republicans are trying now is to memory-hole that whole pro-life thing, like who would ever be hard-line pro-life? Not us! Hannity said after the election: “Democrats are trying to scare women into thinking Republicans don’t want abortion legal under any circumstances.” I mean, I’ll take it because I like where he’s going. But are we really going to pretend none of this ever happened? Actually I’m fine with that too.

Haley v. Ramaswamy fight falls just short of scratching: The Republican debates on Wednesday were not the most exciting unless you are interested in one thing: watching two very compelling Indian Americans absolutely ravage each other. The entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, talking about TikTok, brought up Nikki Haley’s daughter. Ramaswamy said: “She made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time. So you might want to take care of your family first before preaching to anyone else.” Dragging in another candidate’s child for using TikTok? A low blow, sir. “Keep my daughter out of your voice,” Haley shot back. “You’re just scum.” 

It’s interesting that Haley and Vivek have narrowed each other down as their worst enemy. There were barely any jabs at DeSantis, and for most of the night I forgot Chris Christie was even there. What I did notice, of course, was Tim Scott’s new girlfriend, who is reportedly named Mindy. Mindy, as one First Lady to another, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!

Battlegrounds go MAGA: In an early poll of battleground states, Donald Trump is beating Biden. I’ve put the raw numbers below, all from a New York Times/Siena poll. The ones I can’t stop looking at: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

And yesterday, Jill Stein announced her bid as the Green Party candidate. For long shot presidential campaigns, TGIF is only supporting Marianne Williamson.

→ Barack Obama returns to the arena: Former president Obama jetted in from Martha’s Vineyard to say one quick thing, guys: the war’s kinda Israel’s fault! Or at least, we’re all guilty here, man. Hamas is the same as you and me. I’m reactive and need to learn how to take a deep breath before writing emails; Hamas tortured children and livestreamed it. Point is, we’ve all got issues. Here’s Obama: “If you want to solve the problem, then you have to take in the whole truth. And you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree.” It takes two to tango. Hamas killed infants point-blank; I never replace the toilet paper roll. 

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