Feels like the endgame argument is taking shape: "The Constitution says state legislatures set the rules for elections."

Like states' rights claims of the past, this bogus principle is a feeble pretext for another aim: ending fair elections so the GOP can declare itself victor.
The GOP's final demand is going to be to end democracy in the states they control. Even if that were acceptable as a matter of principle, it cannot coexist with a system where the national executive is determined by a series of state elections instead of a single popular vote.
The electoral college has created a situation where the integrity of national democracy is reliant on the integrity of state elections, so the GOP's insistence that states get to pick their own winners is a declaration of war on the whole American system.
The Democrats who control Congress could quickly quash this threat with a single congressional act, but like northerners in the 1850s, they're divided between those wanting to meet the crisis head-on and those wanting to placate and accommodate in hopes that it solves itself.
Like many northerners in the 1850s and early 1860s, many modern-day Democrats cannot figure out that radical reactionaries will not be soothed by conciliatory gestures or appeals to mutual interest, only emboldened.
You wonder how future historians will write about the decision (so far) to let Trump attempt an overthrow of US government and then leave for a comfortable post-presidency without consequence, much less the decision to leave his accomplices in Congress or invite them on TV shows.
I can't help but think that maybe the approach that seems "reasonable" and "sober" and "measured" now - letting Trump walk out, letting his allies off the hook, and moving on - will seem like the very height of riskiness and self-deluded passivity in a few decades.

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More from @whstancil

18 Feb
Guys, I know the Ted-Cruz-is-in-Cancun thing feels like a silly internet conspiracy, and everyone went off it when Shuster “confirmed” it, but the photo evidence is actually kind of overwhelming.
First, is the person in the picture Ted Cruz?

Well, he's wearing the same shoes, glasses, and carrying the same bag as Ted Cruz did when he was in Cancun in this 2019 picture.

He's also wearing a mask Ted Cruz recently started wearing.
There's also a second picture, seemingly from a totally different source, of an unmasked man who looks like Cruz, wearing the same pullover, sitting in an airport lounge. That person's ring and Fitbit are also consistent with what Cruz always wears, for what it's worth.
Read 8 tweets
17 Feb
McConnell strengthens his party by pursuing maximal opposition, even when the other side does something popular.

Meanwhile, Democrats offer only circumscribed and limiter opposition when the other side promotes corruption, racism, and insurrection.

It’s deeply weird that this fundamental difference in political styles is treated as a curiousity, or even a natural and inevitable feature of politics, rather than an important distinction that explains the relative success of each party in exercising power.
A lot of smartypants types are reluctant to assign any political importance to things like “hustle” or “resolve” or “aggressiveness” because they can’t easily be quantified. But ignoring something because you can’t measure it is a form of self-deception
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb
In the wake of the witnesses fiasco, I do wish someone would produce a pretty thorough breakdown of what is wrong with the Democratic Party culturally and strategically. Not about ideology, but the way it fetishizes weakness, appeasement, and conflict avoidance.
There are incredibly obvious differences between the parties in this respect, and liberals have deluded themselves into thinking they don’t matter, or worse, that Democrats are actually BETTER at political strategy. But we’re not the ones wielding vast power with minority support
One recent, salient example of how the parties differ: compare how McConnell reacted to the relatively minor (for him) question of witnesses for Trump, to Democrats’ reaction to the incredibly alarming prospect of the GOP securing control of the Supreme Court for a generation.
Read 5 tweets
11 Feb
There are rules for calling senators as witnesses under oath in impeachment trials, and, wonder of wonders, there are senators who were key witnesses to Trump's impeachable behavior, and are currently lying about what he said.

Why do these rules exist if not for this situation?
But among Democrats, and key members of the media, the notion of calling senators as witnesses is treated as absurd Twitter fanfic - the stuff of partisan fantasies. Why? The rules are there and it's hard to imagine a more applicable situation for them.
The reason is that these people are not guided by reason. They're guided by a sense that drama and aggression in politics is bad, and inherently juvenile. Using your inside voice is always the correct choice, and if something can't be done in inside voices, then it must be wrong.
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
The key thing to recognize about this is that intent DOES matter, and Stephens' clear intent here is to troll and provoke people.

"But he used the word as part of a historical quote!"

Yes, that is PART of the troll: to not cross over the line.
This is the omission that has bedeviled the stupid cancel culture debate from the beginning: sometimes, you have to make a subjective determination of someone's intent, because some people are deliberately saying borderline stuff on purpose. They're not innocent bystanders.
Anyone who has a lot of time in online understands this: trolls exploit hard-and-fast rules. If you say, for instance, you can use offensive terms in historical context, some people will do it over and over, and then be mock-confused when you start to wonder about their motives.
Read 5 tweets
11 Feb
POLITICO-style savviness is killing us all. Republicans signal their intent to act like a criminal gang, working to help their leader beat the rap, and it’s not reported as “Republicans help Trump beat the rap” but “Why are Democrats fighting against the inevitable?”
We are witnessing a historic plot against democracy in plain sight. The GOP is declaring its intent to defend Trump’s attack on Congress. But the reportorial frame is so twisted up by the “savvy” idea that this outcome is expected, many people can’t see what’s in front of them.
Media has lost track of how badly its mental framing has drifted. Things that are deeply abnormal - a president’s partisan allies defending a physical assault on Congress, an attack he was widely and immediately held responsible for - have come to seem mundane, only worth a shrug
Read 4 tweets

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