It’s not that Kevin McCarthy lost control of the House floor this week over a rule to debate the defense appropriations bill. He lost control the day he was elected speaker by giving up positions on the Rules Committee to the radicals. What happened this week was that he was exposed. Even the gossip sheet McCarthy whisperers can’t defend him.
What happens now? He’ll have to negotiate with Democrats, and the first negotiation is over how soon “now” is.
House Republicans falter on funding plans, as shutdown inches closer
The status of negotiations on legislation related to funding the government declined so severely Thursday that lawmakers began to return home, with no votes scheduled for the rest of the week.
Republicans’ inability to pass a single funding provision since returning to Washington last week — including twice failing to start debate on a Defense Department appropriations bill — is the latest embarrassment for the conference whose direction is being dictated not by leaders but a handful of stubborn holdouts.
How a Government Shutdown Could Upend Virginia’s Key Legislative Elections
No state is more directly tied to the federal government than Virginia. Democrats see an opening
With Republicans in Congress unable to agree on a spending deal, Democrats in Virginia – home to one of the largest shares of federal government workers and contractors – are preparing to use the seemingly inevitable shutdown as a cautionary tale against handing Republicans total control of state government, according to conversations with multiple top Virginia Democrats. The goal, they said, is to tie Republicans in the commonwealth to “extremism” in Washington.
“It’s very troubling and we are hoping that MAGA Republicans choose to put the people over party,” said Travis Nembhard, a Democrat who is running against Republican Ian Lovejoy in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, where thousands of workers travel into Washington every day to work for the federal government.
Patricia Murphy/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Biden’s 2020 voters still ridin’ with Biden in Georgia
… I reached out to 10 Georgians polled by the AJC in September of 2020 who told us then that they planned to vote Biden. Now three years into the Biden administration, some of those Georgians have been thrilled with the Biden years, while others are ambivalent or deeply disappointed. But to my surprise, all 10 said they plan to vote for Biden again in 2024.
My interviews didn’t comport with a recent Wall Street Journal poll, that showed three-fourths of American voters think Biden is too old to run for another term, nor the Journal editorial that followed describing the collective Democratic “freak out” happening in Washington. But that’s why it’s important to remember that polls don’t vote for president, people do.
Well, hello, reality.
Ben Jacobs/The New Republic:
Are “Never Trump” Republicans Actually Just Democrats Now?
Some are already hardcore progressives. And pollsters, politicians, and analysts from both parties say it may just be a matter of time before the rest switch parties, too.
After the 2016 election, there was a vogue in the media to understand how Donald Trump had possibly managed to win the presidency despite scandal after scandal. He received almost three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton—an early sign of the limits of his electoral might—but because most pollsters and experts had predicted a Clinton win, there was a desperate scramble across the Rust Belt to find the once Democratic voters who had cast a ballot for the Republican. Blue-collar diners from Allentown to Youngstown were swarmed with reporters determined to discern the secret of Donald Trump’s appeal.
In hindsight, that phenomenon may be eclipsed by another one: Republicans deserting their party precisely because of Trump, forming a demographic now familiarly known as “Never Trump Republicans.” Whether it was his xenophobic remarks about immigrants, his crude personal behavior, or his general disdain for the norms of American politics, many white, college-educated voters—long a bedrock of the GOP—cast their ballot either for Hillary Clinton or for a third-party candidate to avoid supporting Trump. The shock of his election kept this initially from being a broad focus in popular culture, but in special election after special election in the coming year, culminating in the 2018 midterms, it was clear there was a lasting revulsion from these Republicans toward the Trump-era GOP. This was reinforced in 2020, when these voters appear to have turned even more heavily against Trump, helping Joe Biden run the table in the most competitive swing states.
Adam Serwer/The Atlantic:
Trump Is the Reason Women Can’t Get Abortions
The former president wants you to believe he is a moderate on abortion. He isn’t.
If you cannot get an abortion, if you fear leaving your state to get an abortion, if you are afraid to text your loved ones or type abortion into a search bar, if you are scared to ask a friend or loved one to help you get an abortion, if you know someone coerced into remaining in an abusive relationship because they fear prosecution, if you cannot find an obstetrician in your state, if you have a relative who was left at the edge of death by doctors afraid to risk prosecution by violating an abortion ban—you have Donald Trump to thank.
Steve Benen/”MaddowBlog” on MSNBC:
Pennsylvania latest state to embrace automatic voter registration
As Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro embraces automatic voter registration, the policy has now reached 24 states, plus the District of Columbia.
In Pennsylvania’s closely watched gubernatorial race last year, Republican nominee Doug Mastriano had some rather unusual ideas about how to administer elections. As the far-right state senator argued, what officials needed to do was purge the state’s voter rolls entirely and force Pennsylvanians to re-register to vote.
It was never altogether clear why the GOP candidate wanted to do this — it had something to do with election conspiracy theories — and his vision did not prove persuasive: Mastriano lost the 2022 race by nearly 15 points.
The man who defeated him has a very different approach to how a democracy should function, which we were reminded of anew yesterday.
Making Climate the Everything Story
The news media needs to stop treating climate change as a niche topic—and start treating it as the most important story of our time.
And where is journalism in all of this? Despite living through the hottest summer in history, as well as wildfires, tropical storms, and rapidly warming oceans, the news media continues to be outdone by popular culture when it comes to telling the most urgent story of our time. Inexplicably, climate change remains a niche concern for most mainstream news outlets. Most American TV coverage of this summer’s hellish weather did not even mention the words “climate change,” much less explain that the burning of oil, gas, and coal is what’s driving that hellish weather. Too many newsrooms continue to see climate as a siloed beat of specialists.
There are, of course, notable exceptions. The Guardian, for example, has long delivered abundant science-based, comprehensive coverage of the climate crisis as well as its solutions, as have other big global outlets such as the AFP news agency and Al Jazeera. But those outlets, as excellent as they often are, are among the outliers; much of the rest of media—particularly television, which, even in today’s digital era, remains the leading source of news globally for the largest number of people—struggle to find their climate footing.
We wish it were otherwise. As founders of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration formed to break the “climate silence” that long prevailed in the media, we’ve been working to help our colleagues throughout the news business amp up their coverage of the climate story.
Cliff Schecter on the Murdochs and Fox News: