Greg Sargent/The Washington Post:
Why MAGA elites are facing a fresh set of disasters
But on the other screen, the legal causes championed by elites associated with the GOP’s MAGA wing are facing a string of disastrous setbacks.
Walter Shapiro/The New Republic:
House Republicans’ Impeachment Fever Is a Gift to Democrats
The GOP’s nutjob squad is going after Biden and a growing list of administration officials. If they keep it up, they’ll suffer the consequences in 2024.
The Republicans were only getting started last month when Marjorie Taylor Greene called Lauren Boebert “a little bitch” on the House floor in a dispute over whose effort to impeach Joe Biden should take priority. But now the Republicans appear to have a dizzying array of targets in addition to the president, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. And rather than quaking in terror, Democrats should be shouting, “Bring it on.” Impeachment fever may be emotionally satisfying for the Republicans, but the frenzy comes with political costs for the GOP in 2024 and beyond.
GOP’s ‘dereliction of duty’ impeachment argument gets skeptical reviews
Republicans eager to impeach a Biden administration official have rallied around a new phrase to justify the rarely used move, accusing President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of “dereliction of duty.”
The term, borrowed from the military, allows a court martial to punish service members who fail to obey orders or carry out their duties.
But experts say the GOP’s basis for removing either man from office is an odd fit for impeachment, which requires demonstrating high crimes or misdemeanors.
“It sounds quasi-official — it has a sort of military ring to it. But it’s not as though high crimes and misdemeanors and dereliction of duty go together. … It’s not traditionally one of the impeachment concepts that you would find in the panoply of presidential mistakes,” said Claire Finkelstein, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in national security law and democratic governance.
“They’re looking for a phrase that will kind of draw people in because it sounds semi-official, but will not actually require them to say something true and correct, like, ‘The President has actually done such and such,’” she added.
Jennifer Rubin/The Washington Post:
A perpetually surprised media isn’t doing its job
You might find it remarkable that outlets touting their economic foresightedness and keen analysis could be continually surprised about the economy’s strength after 29 consecutive months of job growth, inflation steadily declining, durable goods having been up for three consecutive months, 35,000 new infrastructure projects, an extended period in which real wages exceeded inflation and outsize gains for lower wage-earners. It’s as though outlets are so invested in the narrative of failure and imminent recession that reams of positive data have had little impact on their “narrative.”
Mike Pence's Big Lie campaign trail torture: He's reaping the disinformation he sowed
GOP voters torture Mike Pence with the Big Lie — too bad he was an avid disinfo fan for decades
"Do you ever second-guess yourself? That was a Constitutional right that you had to send those votes back to the states," a woman griped at Pence during an Iowa meet-and-greet at a pizza restaurant on Wednesday. She was, of course, flat wrong, and Pence told her as much.
"The Constitution affords no authority for the vice president or anyone else to reject votes or return votes to the states," Pence pushed back. He even sucked it up and mentioned Trump by name, saying, "President Trump was wrong about my authority that day and he's still wrong."
Pence's willingness to stand firm on this point has drawn him praise in the mainstream media, especially from the legion of never-Trump Republicans who are well-represented on cable news but not much elsewhere. Certainly, Pence has distinguished himself from most Republican leadership, especially people like Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, who voted in favor of overturning the election even after Trump sent a bloodthirsty mob to the Capitol on January 6. Pence did hang in and make sure the election was certified that day, which showed a sense of duty lacking in most of his party.
What all this praise fails to take into account, however, is just how much responsibility Pence bears for getting the GOP to a place where January 6 was even possible.
A vote “intention” model, not a result:
Jamelle Bouie/The New York Times:
No One Can Stop Talking About Justice John Marshall Harlan
The language of colorblindness that Roberts and Thomas use to make their argument comes directly from Justice John Marshall Harlan’s lonely dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson, the decision that upheld Jim Crow segregation. “There is no caste here. Our Constitution is colorblind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,” wrote Harlan, who would have struck down a Louisiana law establishing “equal but separate” accommodations on passenger railways.
But there’s more to Harlan’s dissent than his most frequently cited words would lead you to believe. When read in its entirety, the dissent gives a picture of Harlan not as a defender of equality, but as someone who thinks the Constitution can secure hierarchy and inequality without the assistance of state law. It’s not that segregation was wrong but that, in Harlan’s view, it was unnecessary.
David French/The New York Times:
The Rage and Joy of MAGA America
It’s hard to encapsulate a culture in 22 seconds, but this July 4 video tweet from Representative Andy Ogles accomplishes the nearly impossible. For those who don’t want to click through, the tweet features Ogles, a cheerful freshman Republican from Tennessee, wishing his followers a happy Fourth of July. The text of the greeting is remarkable only if you don’t live in MAGAland:
Hey guys, Congressman Andy Ogles here, wishing you a happy and blessed Fourth of July. Hey, remember our Founding Fathers. It’s we the people that are in charge of this country, not a leftist minority. Look, the left is trying to destroy our country and our family, and they’re coming after you. Have a blessed Fourth of July. Be safe. Have fun. God bless America.
Can something be cheerful and dark at the same time? Can a holiday message be both normal and so very strange? If so, then Ogles pulled it off. This is a man smiling in a field as a dog sniffs happily behind him. The left may be “coming after you,” as he warns, but the vibe isn’t catastrophic or even worried, rather a kind of friendly, generic patriotism. They’re coming for your family! Have a great day!