Three thoughts recurred reading this.

1. The theory that ex-presidents can’t be tried by the Senate is fake, conjured in bad faith to give GOP sens cover to acquit without stating the truth: they’re OK with the right using violence to subvert democracy.
nymag.com/intelligencer/…
2. If and when Republicans acquit Trump on false pretext, Democrats must pivot immediately to a measure disqualifying insurrectionists from office under the 14th amendment—they might even warn Republicans that they’ll face this vote before the trial ends. nytimes.com/2021/01/12/opi…
3. This whole saga is an object lesson in the pitfalls of timidity and foot dragging. The original sin here was recessing the House in the hope of turning the page instead instead of voting on the impeachment within hours of the insurrection.
This was utterly predictable and predicted, beginning on the evening of Jan 6, before Dem leaders agreed to recess Congress.
Quibble: it isn’t just a talking point. It’s a knowing lie. None of them believed it until they realized they’d have to vote post-presidency, at which point they (with the help of dishonest legal “scholars”) began pretending it was a long-held principle.
Can’t overstate the importance of reporters conveying that this position was fabricated rapidly to give Republican senators dishonest cover to acquit Trump. Clearly evident in the genesis of the talking point.
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With a h/t to @steve_vladeck, the fact that Turley held the opposite view until Trump faced a post-presidency impeachment trial, and then fabricated an argument for Republicans who want to lie about why they'll vote to acquit HAS to be part of the story.
Remember, they don’t believe this argument, they invented it over the past three weeks to obscure the true meaning of their coming votes to acquit: that they are OK with the right-wing using corruption and violence to subvert democracy.
Would be helpful to note that not a single Republican senator claiming to be certain that trying a former president is unconstitutional is telling the truth. They invented this idea in the last few weeks, with the help of a handful of unscrupulous legal “scholars.”
Today would be a great day for the MSM to discover that the Republicans pretending to believe you can’t impeach a former president more or less invented that idea a few weeks ago to cover their asses and help Trump get away with it. It’s all made up.
Exactly. I believe the coverage of the GOP position has been more than a bit too credulous, but this presentation may be overwhelming enough to persuade the refs to acknowledge that those Republicans are lying. One can hope anyhow.
Remember, all the Republicans voting no are lying. Every one of them.
If Republicans acquit Trump then run to the press to claim they were obligated to because of the lie they invented about the trial's unconstitutionality, Dems really must bring legislation disqualifying insurrectionists under the 14th amendment to the floor immediately.

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More from @brianbeutler

16 Jun
My main thought here is the concessions to Republicans *have to be contingent on them voting for the bill*, and if they don’t, the filibuster has to go, and ideally those provisions have to go, too. Otherwise this is all just a bunch of suckers wasting each others’ time.
This is just basic negotiating, it’s what Republicans do, and not only that Manchin *knows* this is what they do.
Read 4 tweets
16 Jun
It’s ok I didn’t want to see the records anyhow and it’s not like we have a right to them or that Trump was actually the president for four years, y’know?
Seriously how do they come to this position and not feel completely self-defeated? abcnews.go.com/Politics/summi…
Read 4 tweets
10 Jun
Similar thoughts here. mailchi.mp/crooked.com/bi…

There’s another dimension to this, which is the creation of a false dichotomy between Bold Truth Telling and Lying, as if the craft of writing made it impossible not to engage in Epic Media Lab Leak Fiasco hyperbole without lying.
The lab-leak thing in particular is an example of a line of critique that has a grain of truth to it, but has been exaggerated by critics who are very invested in the appearance of rectitude and not at all invested in whether their overwrought criticisms will spark moral panic.
I’d say intelligent critics have an ethical obligation to consider how their word choices will be exploited by propagandists, which runs right alongside their ethical obligation to tell the truth. Refusing to consider the former is actually a kind of laziness in writing.
Read 6 tweets
9 Jun
Watching the panicky Catastrophic Lab-Leak Fiasco Failure debate continue to play out, I’ve found it useful to imagine how the WMD debate would’ve played out in 2002 if Twitter had existed, and Bush et al were widely understood to be shameless liars on the scale of the Trumpers.
My sense is it would’ve developed differently, but along similar lines. Bush would’ve asserted the existence of WMD, nearly all liberals would’ve assumed he was lying, some in media would’ve overstated their certainty about the unknowable and called the WMD allegation “debunked.”
Then, Bush-allied intelligence sources would’ve planted stories about Iraqi scientists getting mysteriously ill (or whatever) in the Wall Street Journal (or wherever), and a posse of liberals would’ve arisen to say The Media’s WMD Fiasco Is A Crisis.
Read 7 tweets
8 Jun
Biden’s assertion that he could persuade actual Republicans to play fair was central to his campaign, which the Nates of the world fawned over as the most skillful political showcase in many years.
This voguish liberal idea that all political decisions do and rightly should flow formulaically from static polling data is one of the most insipid and destructive of the past decade.
Polling data says talking about persuasion is popular —> praise Biden for talking about persuasion

Polling data says Biden isn’t popular enough among those he needs to persuade —> absolve Biden for not being persuasive
Read 5 tweets
4 Jun
I’ve found centrist-Dem insistence on seeking permission from Republicans to govern maddening forever, but the current context makes the made-up Manchin/Sinema defense of the filibuster extra offensive.
Contrast to 2009: Back when Dems were debating the ACA; they clearly should’ve abolished the filibuster or used the budget-reconciliation process to pass a better bill. But they didn’t want to, and the biggest risk they faced as a result was breaking a campaign promise.
That would’ve been terrible and embarrassing, but fundamentally it would’ve left things unchanged. Parties faceplant sometimes. It happens. It happened to Dems in 1993 on the same issue!
Read 10 tweets

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