Ted Cruz now says the media is attacking him due to Trump withdrawal. This may seem silly. But Republicans are increasingly recentering Trump as chief victim in US public life amid an ongoing retreat into their right wing fictional universe. New piece:
The pull of the Hannity disinformation vortex is so strong that Republicans are incentivized to tell lies that counter truths that *Republicans themselves* have admitted to elsewhere:

The Texas disaster actually shows the terrible trade-offs at the core of *conservative* governance.

But in a fictional universe where it can be blamed on leftist economics with no sense of obligation to basic facts/reality, that truism is easily erased:

It's a self-reinforcing disinformation feedback loop.

The lie that the election constituted a hideous injustice done to Trump, and the fact that a lot of GOP voters believe it to be true, is becoming the rationale for more voter suppression:

The fact that GOP voters believe the lie that Trump/Rs told them about the election has become the justification for more anti-democratic conduct.

What GOP voters believe is thus sacrosanct. @jonathanchait notes that it's now become exoneration for 1/6:


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More from @ThePlumLineGS

25 Feb
Stephen Miller is running a disgusting shadow war against Biden. Central to it is the claim that Biden is reverting to Trump policies, including "kids in cages."

It's nonsense. This isn't "kids in cages" redux at all. Here's my effort at an explainer:

People are lying. This isn't "kids in cages" redux. Two reasons:

* Trump's mess was created by family separations. This isn't.

* New Texas facility is HHS, not border patrol

Texas facility is problematic for other reasons that can/should be addressed:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/… ImageImage
This is a central fact about this debate, and it's never discussed:

You cannot release kids alone. It's MORE dangerous for them.

Thus, the debate becomes HOW to hold and process them.

I talked to Wendy Young, an advocate on this issue for 30 years:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/… ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
24 Feb

Republicans are objecting to the 1/6 commission having a broad purpose in its investigation of the factors leading up to the insurrection, a Dem aide tells me.

The problem is not partisanship. It's GOP radicalization.

Lots of new detail here:
New reporting:

Ds proposed language suggesting broad purpose for the commission, looking at all factors leading to the attack.

Rs objected. Ds are frustrated, as objection is unclear. Ds asked Rs to propose their own language.

No answer yet, aide says:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/… ImageImage
Will Republicans really pick anyone for the commission who will back an accounting that includes the role of Trump/his election lies in inciting the insurrection?

Doubtful. Rs are too tied up in all that themselves.

The problem is GOP radicalization:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/… ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
22 Feb
Trump's grip on the GOP is tightening. He's threatening primary challenges to Republicans who don't maintain absolute fealty to him. Dems must explain to the public what a malignancy on democracy the GOP has become -- and go big while they can. My latest:
Strong quotes from DCCC chair @RepSeanMaloney to me about the GOP's radicalization:

“Dangerous elements are controlling the GOP. They’ve got their hands around its neck right now.”

The GOP has “become a danger to our democracy and our public health.”

@RepSeanMaloney Also key:

DCCC chair @RepSeanMaloney tells me he's undertaking a "deep dive" into the loss of House seats in 2020.

This will look at what happened with Latino voters, and at how to improve digital and social media communications (which @AOC brought up):

Read 4 tweets
19 Feb
Two ugly new moves from Steve Bannon show GOP radicalization is getting worse:

* Bannon says GOP Senate candidate in PA in 2022 must be "full MAGA"

* He's hatching a plot to make Trump House Speaker to impeach Biden

My latest, on what this all means:
The GOP civil war in Pennsylvania has taken a dark turn, invading the 2022 GOP Senate primary.

The rage of MAGA is raining down on former Rep Ryan Costello, who dared to suggest that excommunicating Pat Toomey might be bad statewide politics for the GOP:

Bannon's threat to have Trump run for House Speaker and then impeach Biden sounds comical.

But a lot of elected Republicans are not that far from this level of crazy. One of the party's organizing ideas right now is the mythology of the stolen election:

Read 4 tweets
18 Feb
Texas is showing the future Republicans want: One in which they respond to large public challenges by retreating into their alternate information universe and insulating themselves from accountability with redoubled countermajoritarian tactics. My latest:
Unsurprisingly, Rep. Lauren Boebert succeeded in taking the phony anti-elite posturing to towering heights of stupidity.

And Rick Perry did a bang-up job exposing the utter bankruptcy of the conservative response to Texas as well:

On Fox News, Gov. Greg Abbott blamed wind and solar for the Texas disaster.

But the thing is, he *knows* this is nonsense. He admitted elsewhere that the problem was natural gas and coal!

The rub is that the pull of the Fox News vortex is irresistible:

Read 5 tweets
17 Feb
If you want to understand Rush Limbaugh's poisonous impact on our politics, you couldn't ask for a better guide than @rickperlstein, the great historian of the New Right.

So I talked to Perlstein at length about Limbaugh. Great big-picture stuff here:
@rickperlstein A few highlights.

First, @rickperlstein notes that even back in the late 1980s, it was already clear that Limbaugh had a genius for making reactionary whites feel like they belonged to a movement, like they had a home:

@rickperlstein .@rickperlstein also points to how badly Limbaugh "deranged our public life."

"People were being taught that nothing liberals could do, nothing Democrats could do, could be anything but a diabolical conspiracy to destroy them."

Great context here:

Read 6 tweets

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