Happy Leap Day, readers! Personally, we’re not sure why February of all months gets an extra day every four years (why not June, when we can cook out and enjoy the extra daylight?), but we might as well make the most of it.
It was a long and frustrating week on many fronts: Coronavirus is spreading to more countries, and the uncertainty both for public health and the global economy led to a very bad week on Wall Street. The Democrats staged what was probably the worst debate yet of the primary season, with the moderators rehashing many of the same questions that were asked in other debates and struggling to keep the candidates on track.
We take all that news very seriously and we don’t want to be the ones pointing to rainbows in the middle of a hurricane, but it was a good week for The Dispatch. If you are reading this email, you’ve no doubt received others that explained we were making much of our content available only to paying members and inviting readers to join us. The response has been fantastic. If you’re one of our “freelisters,” we thank you for your time and we encourage you to keep reading. There will be plenty of work from The Dispatch that will be available to non-payers—both on the web and in newsletters. (This newsletter, for instance, will always be free!) For those of you who became members, we thank you for your investment. Now, please enjoy the best of what we published this week.
Rep. Will Hurd should be a poster child for the future of the GOP: A youngish black conservative with a background at the CIA who can win a swing district in Texas. And yet, he’s retiring after this term is up. In an engaging profile, Declan Garvey explains that Hurd has been a voice of moderation in the Trump era, speaking out against the president when he disagreed with him but also voting for measures that aligned with his priorities. And yet, Hurd says he’s not retiring because he’s weary of the drama or fearful that he’d lose, but because he has grander plans.