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<em>The Atlantic</em> Politics & Policy Daily: Trump Tends to His Core Voters

Were you forwarded this email? Sign yourself up here. We have many other free email newsletters on a variety of other topics. Browse the full list.What We’re Following Today

It’s Monday, July 15.

‣ The Trump administration issued a new rule that would significantly limit asylum protections for most Central American migrants. It’s almost certain to face a legal challenge.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

(Elizabeth Frantz / Reuters)

‘She Would Throw Herself in Front of a Bus for Us’: Over the weekend, roughly 4,000 people descended on Philadelphia for Netroots Nation, an annual conference for progressive activists. They already know which candidate they want for president. And they’ve got a surprising second choice.

All About That Base: President Donald Trump rejected during a press conference today the idea that his tweets over the weekend about several congresswomen were racist, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House will move to formally reject Trump’s comments by passing a resolution. What if Trump took his own advice to “help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which [he] came?” asks Yoni Appelbaum. (Back to Queens, that is.)

The Future of the ACA: The outcome of an ongoing Texas lawsuit may blow up the Affordable Care Act as we know it. The core argument here hinges on the removal of a tax penalty for not having health insurance. One law professor contends that these judges who may end up deciding the future of health coverage in America profess “judicial modesty,” but “are activists to the core.”

Democracy vs. Authoritarianism: The 2020 Democrats have found their battle cry against Trump, writes Uri Friedman: “The defining struggle of our time is between the forces of democracy and authoritarianism, they say, and the leader of the land of the free has strayed into enemy territory.”

A Big Sleeper Issue: One might think a problem that affects so many people across the country—the lack of affordable long-term personal care for older people—would become a major political issue. So far, though, it hasn’t.

(Paul Spella / Katie Martin / The Atlantic)

In The Atlantic’s August cover story, the contributing editor Barbara Bradley Hagerty explores new research about sexual predators and why police are often unable to locate crucial evidence.

“This is the question that haunts every advocate, researcher, and enlightened detective or prosecutor I spoke with: How many rapes could have been prevented if the police had believed the first victim, launched a thorough investigation, and caught the rapist? How many women would have been spared a brutal assault?” → Read the rest

Elaine Godfrey

Ideas From The Atlantic

Trump Tells America What Kind of Nationalist He Is (Adam Serwer)
“If these women could all trace their family lines back to 1776, it would not make them more American than Trump, a descendant of German immigrants whose ancestors arrived relatively recently, because he is white and they are not.” → Read on

Trump Is Baiting Democrats (David Frum)
“Trump is determined to make it impossible for Democrats to act on Pelosi’s knowledge—to break the discipline Pelosi has imposed on her party and to empower the Democrats who want to win Twitter today, rather than win the White House in 2020.” → Read on

Joe Biden Stops Playing It Safe (Peter Beinart)
“For the first time, he looked like a candidate willing to make a direct and substantive case that his centrist instincts are preferable to the party’s recent leftward tilt.” → Read on

What Else We’re Reading


Their family bought land one generation after slavery. The Reels brothers spent eight years in jail for refusing to leave it. (Lizzie Presser, ProPublica)

Huge turnout is expected in 2020. So which party would benefit? (Nate Cohn, The New York Times) (
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And while it hurts the Colts, who now need to scramble to work on a long-term plan for their quarterback situation, the rest of the football world is left to ponder the most shocking retirement since Barry Sanders hung up his cleats on top of his game at 31. We’re all shocked, but we shouldn’t be. The issue isn’t so much that Luck blindsided everyone with his decision, and more that we’re accustomed to believing that football is the most important thing in every player’s life, making it unimaginable they would ever walk away willingly from the game. The truth is, in hindsight Luck was telling us all along, in his own way, that his life was about more than football. Luck defied expectations from the second he set foot in college. He made the most of his athletic scholarship to Stanford and didn’t just treat the prestigious school like a stepping stone. Instead, he pursued a degree in architecture — which was mentioned only as a bellwether in broadcasts to underscore his intelligence, rather than a sign he might be interested in something more than throwing a football. Luck was a lock to be the No. 1 overall pick when Jim Harbaugh left to become head coach of the 49ers in 2011. The Carolina Panthers told him as much, and football fans fully expected he was going to head to the NFL. Luck was draft eligible, was going to be taken No. 1, and his head coach was gone. Players don’t stay in school when this happens — and yet, he did. Luck decided to finish his degree, work under a new coach, and take out an insurance policy on his body should something go wrong on the field. A year later, the stars aligned. A neck injury to Peyton Manning left the Colts with the No. 1 pick, and suddenly he was staring down the barrel of being heir apparent to the biggest quarterback legacy in the NFL. Luck was ceaselessly compared to Manning. So much so that his bust might as well have already been bronzed in Canton before he ever took a snap. There was such an unflappable expectation that Luck would be the next Manning that his place among the NFL’s all-time great quarterbacks was being discussed before his third season. It’s because we loved the narrative — all of us. The notion that the Colts could seamlessly transition from Manning to Luck seemed so innately unfair to non-Colts fans that the system almost seemed rigged. We haven’t seen such a serendipitous circumstance in sports since the San Antonio Spurs were gifted Tim Duncan in the 1997 NBA Draft to solidify their big man succession plans when David Robinson would eventually retire. That mythos of legacy overshadowed everything when it came to Andrew Luck. It caused us to gloss over his mounting injuries, the frustrations of Colts fans and the very real possibility that the narrative built in our minds would never see its third act. It also ignored the reality that Luck, who had always been pragmatic in his decision making, might value something more than playing in the NFL. “For the last four years I’ve been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury, pain, rehab. It’s been unceasing and unrelenting, both in-season and off-season and I felt stuck in it. The only way I see out is to no longer play football.” — Andrew Luck A lot of this is because Luck’s life had been exceedingly fortuitous. That’s not to ignore the hard work and dedication it took for him to reach the NFL, but rather the reality that perhaps the NFL needed Andrew Luck more than he needed it. He was born into a wealthy family — his father, Oliver, was a former NFL quarterback who had since held a variety of executive jobs in sports (general manager in NFL Europe and MLS, athletic director of West Virginia and now commissioner of the XFL). Luck didn’t need to support his family or shoulder the burden of setting them up for future generations. The fact he was such an astoundingly good quarterback was just a bonus. Luck legitimately loved the game of football, but injuries took that joy away. Thankfully he’d always been looking at life holistically, and never let football define him solely. This is also a man whose priorities have altered a lot in the last year. Luck married his longtime girlfriend earlier this year, and announced the couple were expecting their first child shortly before training camp. It’s life-altering changes like that which cause you to reassess, and who the hell can fault him for opting to hang it up when your options is retiring from the NFL at age 29 with millions in earnings, with a new family and plenty of time to move to something else? Every excuse for Luck to keep playing rings hollow when held up against the life he leads. Many would stay for the money or the prestige, but neither have ever been things Andrew Luck has been overtly interested in. Instead, he’s walking away from the game with his health relatively intact, with enough money to ensure his future and opportunities that extend beyond the field. The #Colts have known that QB Andrew Luck was seriously mulling retiring for at least two weeks. He’s married, he plans to travel the world, and once the love for the game waned, it sounds like he wanted to step away. So, he did.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2019 Andrew Luck lived everyone’s dream. Whether that’s playing the NFL or retiring comfortably at age 29. Now he gets to see the world and spend time with his wife and soon-to-be-born baby. Who wouldn’t want to have that be the road map of their life? It might be a surprise to see him walk away, but the signs were always there. All we can say now is “congratulations,” for playing the game and winning — not of football, but life.
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