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The Maundy Monday Newsletter - This Week in History August 21 - 27.
Good Monday morning, Okay History, friends! Thanks for spending some time with me.
The 2024 Presidential election season is upon us! Are you excited? Neither am I!
Things kick off this Wednesday evening in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when the first Republican presidential primary debate, sponsored by Fox News, takes place at the basketball arena.
Thirteen candidates are vying for the nomination to take on incumbent President Joe Biden, who took office while stealing the election from the previous incumbent, Donald Trump, who stole the election in 2016 from never president, Hilary Clinton.
As we step into another round of thievery, let’s take a look at the eligibility requirements the Republican National Committee established, who made it, who will be there, who may not, and really who cares?
The first GOP debate is unusual, where the party, not the network, sets the rules. This is why we have such silly rules like securing a certain number of online donations, polling at a certain percentage in various polls, and the kicker – taking a loyalty pledge supporting the front-runner.
This reminds me of when GOP contenders had to sign a no-tax pledge, which shows you the GOP only cares about made-up oaths rather than the ones people take to protect the Constitution if we were stupid enough to elect them.
Donald Trump is the front-runner, despite being indicted weekly for the past two months. He hasn’t committed yet to joining the others on stage – another performative move. But it looks like he won’t and will provide a prerecorded interview instead. He has agreed to the loyalty pledge, but you can assume he will treat it like he did with his two previous marriages.
Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, will be there, trying to pull his campaign out of the Florida swamp it is in. Right now, it appears to be a listless vessel.
Former Vice President Mike Pence will be there to argue that he was honored to serve in the greatest administration ever to try and overthrow the Constitution.
Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor, will be there to present herself as someone who has thoughts. Tim Scott, the person Haley nominated to the United States Senate, will also be there, confirming that the field will be diverse in race and sex but indistinguishable regarding thoughts.
Vivek Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old jerk who does something in finance, will have a spot. He will no doubt try and convince everyone that Donald Trump isn’t the only former Democrat who switched parties to make money off of the Republican base.
Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and 2016 contender, will run it back again. He will be entertaining everyone by immediately hammering Trump. If Trump shows up, one presumes Trump will throw biscuits at Chris and call him fluffy.
Oh, our new buddy Doug made the cut. He will make the case that the government should be run like a business even though I never elected my boss once.
We don’t know if others will make it—Guys named Asa, Francis, Larry, and Perry if they do go – good for them! It’s essential to get out of the house and meet people.
Policy will be in short supply and more about who looks stupid, which is entirely subjective, unlike what took place this week in history, when on August 21, 1858, the Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debates took place in Illinois for the Senate seat.
Douglas was the incumbent and eventual winner, but the seven debates from August through October were heavy on policy and less performative antics. They would last hours, and ultimately, both men remained civil despite their differences.
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The debates would launch Lincoln into national politics, and two years later, he would be elected president of the United States. One hundred sixty years after that, he would secure the number one ranking on the OKH presidential ranking thing.
Okay, let's highlight what else happened this week. Here's what I got:
1. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended on August 22, 2003. Moore had ordered that a 5,000-pound stone carved with the Ten Commandments be placed at the state’s courthouse, violating the Constitution provision on the separation of Church and State. The stone would be removed, and Moore would lose future elections to become a Senator when it was discovered he violated underage women.
2. Kobe Bryant was born on August 23, 1978. The National Basketball Association Hall of Famer won five NBA championships, one MVP, was named an NBA All-Star 18 times, and was accused of rape once. He would die in a helicopter crash in January 2020.
3. NASA launched the Spitzer Space Telescope on August 25, 2003. The infrared space telescope sent back pictures of space stuff for multiple years and was named after Lyman Spitzer, who championed the idea of space telescopes back in the 1940s.
Anonymous gave me a book about the Lincoln Douglas debates for Christmas a few years ago. In typical fashion, I have yet to read it. But when I pulled it off the shelf and flipped through the pages, I realized I would probably never read this thing. Check out what I’m talking about:
That does not look appealing. I’d have to be some sort of scholar to get through this. Even says it on the cover. Where are the pictures?
I will be back in South Carolina this week for work, but I will hammer out another Constitution amendment ranking for Friday. Apparently, it will be 4,000 degrees down there, making it extremely hot and as much fun as the heat emanating from the debate stage this week. Another thing to look forward to!
Until then, have a great week.