1. We need to talk about something no one is talking about in the ongoing and rather annoying debate over @NancyPelosi and the likelihood, after November’s midterm election, that she will once again become the Speaker of the House.
2. When I say we need to talk about something no one is talking about, I do not mean sexism or ageism or any of the ordinary positions allies take when defending Pelosi, who was, objectively speaking, the greatest speaker of the 21st century* and who
3. continues to be, objectively speaking, a fundraising juggernaut* for the Democrats even as she continues to be, objectively speaking, a lightning rod of controversy.
1. Now that the Republican and Democratic primaries in Connecticut have come and gone, it’s a good time to assess what we have learned. More importantly, what we think we learned.
2. What we think we learned goes something like this: 2018 is a year for outsiders.
3. How else to explain Tuesday’s results? Republican @bobforgovernor came from behind to beat party-endorsed candidate @MayorMark in the race for governor. Democrat @JahanaHayesCT did the same, overtaking party-endorsed candidate Mary Glassman in the race for CT's 5th District.
1. Debate over the Electoral College is typically driven by liberals resentful of the fact that the Democratic Party would have won four of the last five elections had winning the popular vote been all that was necessary. As it is, it has won two of five.
2. Less attention is paid to a couple of things I want to talk abt today. One is the EC offers opportunity to foreign powers to violate our sovereignty. Our republic functions on trust. That trust springs from knowledge that the people chose our fates by choosing our leaders.
3. But with a presidency decided by margins in states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, all that’s needed is blasting the electorates of those states with all manner of lies, propaganda and bad faith.
1. I found this map on Twitter recently. It shows what the United States looks like when you blackout the counties in which a majority of voters did not cast a vote in 2016.
2. The map’s creator hoped to demonstrate what he believes to be the problem with the two-party system. So many people didn’t vote, he said, because the parties failed to produce acceptable candidates. To him, this is concrete evidence of party failure.
3. “Anyone who wants to earnestly say the election was ‘stolen by Russia’ needs to explain this map,” wrote @giorgio_montana. “I'm going to go off on a limb & say you don't need poorly-made FB ads to convince ppl not to vote for the 2 least popular politicians in US history.”
1. The most important thing about the leaked audio of US Rep. Devin Nunes saying the Republicans must keep the US House to prevent the Democrats from impeaching the president is *not* this: evidence the party deserves defeat in November’s midterms.
2. We already knew that. We already knew, as the Post’s Jennifer Rubin said, that House Republicans “exercise no responsibility, it’s always about the party, it’s always about protecting the president and never about doing their constitutional obligation.” thehill.com/homenews/house…
3. The most important thing the audio tells us is this: what the Republicans think is the most important thing to say to the base. Remember, the recording was made during a closed-door fundraiser for US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House GOP conference.
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1. A long time ago, I was a music journalist. As such, I struggled with a rhetorical problem many music journalists face: what name, or label, to give new music.
2. Try to appreciate the stakes. Call it rock, and you alienate one kind of listener. Call it pop, and you alienate another. Call it anything, and you risk pinning an artist to the successes or failures of the past while reducing her present accomplishments.
3. I can’t say I solved the problem. I was writing about music—I had to use words! But I fudged it. I tried to avoid talking about genres or categories. I simplified my language, minimized abstraction, maximized concreteness.
1. The old saying is true, most of the time—all politics is local. Indeed, the government we experience directly is state & local. But we have never had a president who gobbles up so much attention. For now, the opposite might be truer, & more accurate. All politics is national.
2. This idea was reinforced Monday at a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislators. GOP leaders in red and swing states told The Hill that Donald Trump’s unpopularity was bearing down on members, even those largely unknown in their districts. thehill.com/homenews/campa…
3. While vulnerable Republicans say they support Trump, “many privately said his leadership style and polarizing nature would make their re-election bids more difficult.”
Why does Rand Paul desire a meeting with Vlad Putin? Is there even the thinnest veneer of a rationale?
Paul planned the Moscow trip before Trump whiffed in Helsinki. You'd think, given that Paul intimated that Obama was second only to Hitler, that he'd rethink going to visit the country that attacked our sovereignty, especially after Trump took Putin's side over ours.
Rand Paul appears to be believe a joint US-Russia effort to combat terrorism is as important as US national sovereignty. He is so so very wrong about that, wrong enough to raise serious questions about his loyalty.
1. President Trump celebrated the result of Ohio’s special election Tuesday night after Republican Troy Balderson squeaked out a win* against Democrat Danny O’Connor.
2. But given the 12th congressional district comprises rural and suburban communities around Columbus, and given the president won it by double digits in 2016, the result of last night’s contest might be less important than what is portends.
3. To be sure, a win is a win. Something similar might happen in November. Despite evidence suggesting Democratic victories, Republicans could still win by a nose. But Tuesday was one of many elections since 2016.
1. I have argued that we now know enough about this president for the press corps to be justified in no longer giving Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt.
2. Political reporters can reasonably presume that the president and anyone who speaks for him are not telling the truth. If they want us to believe then, they’re going to have to prove it.
3. Today, I want to talk about another kind of presumption, one we take for granted and should take for granted in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. That presumption is that American citizens are loyal to the United States.
1. Trump admitted Sunday that his campaign met with Kremlin operatives at Trump Tower in June 2016 to “get information on an opponent.” You read that correctly. The president actually confessed to “collusion,” which, legally speaking, means conspiracy against the United States.
3. This should be a turning point, according to The New Yorker’s @adamdavidson: “It ends any possibility of an alternative explanation. We can all move forward understanding that there is a clear fact pattern about which there is no dispute.”
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1. Thomas Edsall, in the Times, provides another opportunity for the Editorial Board to argue that politics in the US is simpler and more complex than most Americans realize, because our news media is addicted to the power of storytelling.
2. Nothing wrong with storytelling in and of itself. The problem arises when “narratives,” as they say in the editorial boardrooms of elite newspapers, take on a life of their own, when they distort political reality while pretending they do no such thing.
3. The premise of Edsall’s latest is that the Dem Party is going through an identity crisis. This may seem reasonable given the party is out of power. If it can’t get its act together, the thinking goes, how can it possibly take the Congress in November? nytimes.com/2018/08/02/opi…