Josh Marshall Profile picture
Oct 25 12 tweets 3 min read
Here’s my hunch abt what happened here. Look at the Quincy Institute. They were apparently the organizers of the effort. That’s not secret. A lot of members signed it and then nothing happened. Kind of odd in itself. I suspect Quincy and other allied groups were really hots …
2/ to push this out before the election. They probably had some staffers at the Prog caucus who were on board with that. Perhaps even ex-colleagues if theirs. Somehow they came up with a way to push it public. It’s clear that most of the reps, I think actually all of …
3/ the reps who’ve spoken publicly have said they didn’t even know it was coming out. Jayapal is no fool. She wouldn’t knowingly blindside her colleagues like that. I suspect that someone got her to nominally sign off while she wasn’t really focused and then ran with it.
4/ Perhaps it was presented to her as well, everybody’s already signed it and we’ve just been waiting to release it. My point isnt to defend Jayapal. This reflects very badly on her. But she’s a sharp person and she didn’t react like someone who was really clear or prepped for …
5/ this. I think some outside groups and perhaps some staffers who were more invested in their own views than being straight with their employers pulled a fast one (though perhaps with a notional sign off) and figured once it was out the reps couldn’t walk away from it.
6/ I’ll note that the Quincy folks were pretty pumped when the letter came out and seemed to have their own write up pretty much right when the Post broke the story.
7/ Sometimes to make an omelette you have to break some eggs, as they say. In this case, I think folks figured they already had the signatures and once it was out the signers hands would be tied. If there were hard feelings, well, broken eggs. But lots of the signers …
8/ moved pretty quickly into the okay fuck this camp and it all spiraled from there. The end.
9/ And there’s more. More than a few people reacted to this like a whole lot of work went into it and people supposedly behind it just went and ruined everything.
10/ Some are defending the staffers.
11/ The Post appears to confirm what seemed clear: that no one alerted House Democrats, including the people who signed the letter last summer, that it was being released.
12/ This really STRONGLY supports the idea that this was someone or several someones pulling a fast one, to force peoples hands. The end (I think).

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More from @joshtpm

Oct 26
I assume Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter will go through on Friday. Entirely possible he chokes again. But let's assume. But when you look at the various reports and information from the trial you start to see that yes apparently Musk will gut the company if he buys it.
2/ But if he doesn't buy it current management will half gut it a month or two later. The company is clearly in a shambles. It's never *really* had a sustainable or robust business model. and it's facing declining usage from the power users who drive it's revenue.
3/ Basically today and tomorrow will basically be the high point for Twitter.
Read 7 tweets
Oct 25
I’ve seen a number of people who while disagreeing with West’s comments nonetheless say, well, this is the problem today, people make controversial comments and suddenly they’re canceled. People pay too big a price for unpopular opinions. I think the answer is that is FUCK THAT!
2/ It’s sometimes true there are blow ups and controversies about incautious or ill-worded remarks. People don’t use the right words or make comments with implications they’re not aware of. One of the features of modern digital culture is that spontaneous, crowd-like …
3/ rush to disassociate. Whether you want to call that “cancel culture” it frequently *is* an excess. But when someone goes out and repeatedly and unapologetically spews canards and slanders which have led to the murder of millions of Jews we should absolutely expect and …
Read 8 tweets
Oct 25
A lot of the current debate abt “negotiations” is some mix of semantic, ignorant or disingenuous. The conflict almost certainly will end in a negotiation. Most wars do. But the two sides have totally irreconcilable positions. Ukraine and its backers want Russian forces …
2/ expelled from Ukraine. Russia wants large parts of Ukraine annexed to Russia and at least major limitations on Ukraines sovereignty/independence. To start real negotiations - as opposed to back channel communications, which I assume are going on - you need one or …
3/ both sides to dramatically change their war aims. Since for the moment the war is going badly for Russia you’d expect Russia to propose plausible terms to hold on to as many gains as possible. But they don’t seem to have made any such proposal. So the question isn’t …
Read 6 tweets
Oct 25
seeing a number of questions along the lines of, why did they do this? what about two weeks before the midterm posting a letter that was so embarrassing they had to clarify it within hours made sense? basically just a dumb screw up. but I suspect you had some discussions in …
2/ the prog caucus along the lines of, we’re not against Ukraine but this is a big war and an increasingly dangerous one (they’re right). And we can’t just have a position that is indistinguishable from the rest of the D party and a lot of hardcore hawks.
3/ we’re pro peace. So how do we stake out this position? But at the moment there’s no really a way to finesse the core issue. Shld Ukraine and its backers make peace at the cost of locking in most of the gains of the Russian invasion? You can make arguments on either side …
Read 4 tweets
Oct 25
Reading through this letter, it is *completely* incoherent. I don’t mean this in the sense it’s bad policy. It is completely contradictory on the key points. It suggests calling the war to a halt to prevent escalation, global economic chaos. It also says nothing can happen …
2/ without Ukraines approval. But Ukraine won’t approve anything like that. My read of this letter is that it started with outside groups and perhaps some reps who basically want to stop the war now (for the reasons stated). But a number of the signatories didn’t feel …
3/ they could agree to that. So they added language about Russian aggression, assuring ukraines independence and not agreeing to a settlement Ukraine didn’t support. Which basically makes any idea of a ceasefire now impossible and meaningless.
Read 5 tweets
Oct 24
Lot of write ups of new text results today, the first that gives apples to apples comparison nationwide. They show steep drops in reading and especially math over the pandemic. But most write ups - I’m looking especially at you Axios - leave one point mostly unmentioned.
2/ The results show little correlation if any between test results and duration of school closures. The results are just out. And perhaps deeper analysis will show them. But at least on initial review they’re not there either on a state or school district basis.
3/ This doesn’t end the debate about school closure policy and remote. There are other measures of learning and there is also the psychological/cognitive development impact. But it’s an important check on a widespread and highly questionable assumption.
Read 9 tweets

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