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The Beef About Meat: The Politics Daily

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Take Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who said during his 2018 reelection bid, “if Texas elects a Democrat, they’re going to ban barbecue across the state of Texas.” (A couple of years before that, Cruz prepared bacon by wrapping it around the nozzle of a machine gun and firing off rounds.) And as Democrats earlier this year talked about a Green New Deal plan that would attempt to overhaul the economy to ferret out greenhouse gases, Republicans went on the offensive to, as Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming put it, decry the plan because it meant saying “goodbye to dairy, to beef, to family farms, to ranches.”

To be sure, only a small percentage of Democrats are actually vegan or vegetarian—by one measure, the percentage of vegetarians in the country hasn’t moved much since 1999—but with Booker’s veganism now trailing him on the presidential campaign trail, the beef over meat isn’t going away.

— Saahil Desai


Democratic Debate 3.0

(ROSARIOSCALIA/ SHUTTERSTOCK FREDERICK M. BROWN / STRINGER / ETHAN MILLER / CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY / ARSH RAZIUDDIN / THE ATLANTIC)


Three Down, Nine More to Go: About Last Night

Candidates have a plan for that—but do they have a plan for passing that? Many candidates declined to go into the weeds, but “the level of detail in a proposal doesn’t always correspond to its seriousness. Just look at Trump.” Edward-Isaac Dovere reports from behind the scenes in Houston.

Hedge of the night: There was at least one direct question that detailed-plans candidate Elizabeth Warren didn’t want to answer: Will she raise taxes on the middle class to fund Medicare for All? Russell Berman examines the taxes-for-government-services tightrope Democrats have long had to navigate.

Where was the college talk?: K–12 education is largely the domain of local governments, Adam Harris notes. Considering all the attention that candidates from Elizabeth Warren to Bernie Sanders to Amy Klobuchar have given this cycle to making college more affordable, why weren’t more of them talking last night about education issues that the executive branch can actually affect?

Guns N’ Poses: The waning candidate Beto O’Rourke leaned into the El Paso–focused reinvention of his campaign: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he declared. But a moment like that has the potential to permanently change the primary debate on regulating guns, Emma Green writes.


What Else We’re Following

Howard University graduates await the commencement speaker Chadwick Boseman in May 2018. (Eric Thayer / Reuters)

Why do Democrats win cities? There’s no obvious reason for why a movement led by Irish Catholic factory workers in the 1800s became the party of progressives in 2019, but much of it can be traced to the politicization of issues such as abortion and climate change, Derek Thompson writes.



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