Simon Rosenberg/NDN blog:
As we’ve been saying opposition to MAGA has been the driving force of the last two elections (6.5 pt Dem wins in 2018/2020, Dems win the House, Senate, Presidency) and with mass shootings, the end of Roe, fanatical abortion restrictions, a radicalized Supreme Court, extremist/terrible candidates, an unfolding criminal conspiracy involving dozens of top Republican officials to overturn an election it is now likely to be the most powerful force in this election as well. When the Republicans chose to run towards a politics the country had just rejected in record numbers twice, the GOP made the political physics of this election different from a traditional midterm. It’s our view that as of today the Senate is likely to stay in Democratic hands; a pickup of a 1-2-3 Senate seats by Dems not impossible; and Democrats are likely to outperform expectations in the House now. Will it be enough for Democrats to keep the House? It's pretty clear that Dems have a shot now, particularly with the fundraising advantages our candidates hold in key incumbent Senate and House races.
Some new data from Politico/Morning Consult helps shine a bit more light on this dynamic. For the GOP to have a good midterm either many Dems will have to stay home or switch to the GOP. Staying home is far less likely now. This means the GOP needs to give these voters a reason to come to them. And what do voters see when they look at the two parties in Congress:
Dems in Congress 41-52 (-11)
Rs in Congress 35-58 (-23)
Schumer 28% McConnell 20%
Pelosi 33% McCarthy 21%
And in this Morning Consult analysis they find Dem approval on a wide set of issues improving, with Dems now leading the GOP by 6 points, 45-39. In the report Morning Consult writes: "the improvements represent good news for those working to hold control of the House and Senate, showing that at least some voters may be able to shake off their dim views of President Joe Biden when thinking about their votes in November." The ugliness of MAGA, and how hard it would be for voters to embrace a politics they rejected twice, has been overly discounted by analysts this cycle. The GOP is a big unpopular and extremist mess and folks just don't want to go there. And this was before the revelations about Trump's stealing of America's secrets.
Nicholas Grossman/Daily Beast:
If Prosecuting Trump Sets a ‘Dangerous’ Precedent—So Does Letting His Crimes Slide
Stop bowing to threats of right-wing violence—it’s time for the institutions of constitutional democracy to make their stand.
Whatever the Department of Justice (DOJ) decides, it will set precedent, provoke public reactions, and shape history.
While the MAGA right will defend Trump no matter the evidence, some centrist voices who acknowledge Trump’s wrongdoing still oppose indictment to preserve “domestic tranquility.” Even if well-intentioned and entirely by-the-book, they argue, a Democratic administration bringing charges against the most recent Republican president (one likely to run again), would be counterproductive, inflaming an already tense situation.
I’ve argued that this relies too much on guessing highly uncertain political outcomes. If prosecuting Trump would set a dangerous precedent, so would letting his crimes slide. We can’t know what will happen, so we should follow the law and let the chips fall where they may.
But even if we say U.S. law enforcement should prioritize political impact, the “domestic tranquility” argument fails on its own terms.
What the Search-Warrant Affidavit Tells Us
The former president was not giving up top-secret national-security documents. DOJ had no choice but to act. Trump has only himself to blame.
Of course, the search-warrant affidavit was not released to provide public justification for prosecution. We’re a long way from knowing whether sufficient evidence exists to warrant a criminal charge. The affidavit was released—albeit in redacted form—to provide public justification for the search. Although we don’t yet know all of the evidence supporting DOJ’s unprecedented decision to search a former president’s home, we do now have much greater insight into the key facts.
Given that knowledge, the search looks less like a politicized witch hunt and more like an action of last resort—one the Department of Justice took only after it had tried and failed to obtain cooperation from the former president. The available evidence is pointing in one direction. Trump may be furious about the search, but he has only himself to blame.
Margaret Talbot/New Yorker:
Justice Alito’s Crusade Against a Secular America Isn’t Over
He’s had win after win—including overturning Roe v. Wade—yet seems more and more aggrieved. What drives his anger?
Now, though, Alito is the embodiment of a conservative majority that is ambitious and extreme. (He declined to be interviewed for this article.) With the recent additions of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to the Court, the conservative bloc no longer needs Roberts to get results. And Alito has taken a zealous lead in reversing the progressive gains of the sixties and early seventies—from overturning Roe v. Wade to stripping away voting rights. At a Yale Law School forum in 2014, he was asked to name a personality trait that had impeded his career. Alito responded that he’d held his tongue too often—that it “probably would have been better if I said a bit more, at various times.” He’s holding his tongue no longer. Indeed, Alito now seems to be saying whatever he wants in public, often with a snide pugnaciousness that suggests his past decorum was suppressing considerable resentment.
We have never seen such behavior from a senior US government official, much less a president. And we are only speaking of what we know. Why was he so threatened by the intelligence community all along? Why did he feel they knew things about him that could be damaging?
Was it just consciousness of guilt due to his active solicitation of the support of a foreign enemy during the 2016 election? Was it more than that? What is it we don't know? What did he seek classified that he should not have? What secrets went missing before this point?
What were the consequences of the apparently voracious appetite for secrets his son-in-law Jared Kushner had? Why was he so actively interested in them? What were Trump's motives in taking secrets and obstructing the USG efforts to have them returned?
What happened to the documents while they were in Trump's custody? Do we have all the documents back? Were there documents stored at places other than Mar-a-Lago? What did he get his lackeys to do when they ran the IC? What were his plans for them were he to be reelected?
These are not "political" questions. These are questions that must be answered to understand what damage Trump and his inner circle may have done to our intelligence community, our intelligence assets worldwide, their safety and our security.
Is the United States headed for civil war?
Fighting words and extremism are on the rise. We are not yet in ‘Turner Diaries’ territory, but that doesn’t mean the country will avoid violent conflict.
It’s easy and logical to conclude that the United States today stands as close to the edge of civil war as it has since 1861. A broad variety of voices — including Republican and Democratic politicians, academics who study civil strife, and extremists on both ends of the spectrum — now accept the idea that civil war is either imminent or necessary. They point to evidence that can seem persuasive: a blizzard of threats against FBI agents, judges, elected officials, school board members and elections supervisors; training camps where heavily armed radicals practice to confront their own government; and polls showing that many Americans expect violent conflict.
But it’s also easy and logical to conclude that the florid rhetoric from right-wing extremists, the worried warnings in mainstream media, and the hail of threats and individual attacks after this month’s surprise FBI search of Donald Trump’s South Florida mansion add up to something well short of the frightening prospect of civil war.
People who track such threats say this summer’s violent outbursts against federal officials and government institutions amount to one more concerning surge of rage in a pattern that has persisted throughout the pandemic, spiking after the murder of George Floyd two summers ago. But the Anti-Defamation League and other watchdog groups are not seeing the kind of specific planning by private militias and online assemblages of radicals that was evident before last year’s Jan. 6 insurrection and the white-supremacist march in Charlottesville in 2017.
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