• June 20, 2021

Exclusive: Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The GOP is and remains a toxic organization.

 Exclusive: Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The GOP is and remains a toxic organization.


EJ Dionne/WaPo:

The GOP superspreaders of Trump’s contagion

Donald Trump took his campaign against American democracy to North Carolina on Saturday and offered a rambling, grievance-laden harangue that ought to catalyze Republican leaders to repudiate a man whose lies, bigotry and irrationality are turning their party into a moral sinkhole.

Fat chance, I know. But Republicans should watch Trump’s 90-minute diatribe in its entirety. They might realize that tying their fate to a washed-up demagogue and the extremists he cultivates is not only an affront to decency. It could also be a colossal political mistake.

Most Washington Republicans say they want to “move on” from Trump. But they avoid anything that might offend his delicate sensibilities or those of his supporters.

Sorry, guys, but you won’t be able to “move on” to the responsible governing you purport to believe in until you confront the anti-democratic virus in your party and the vile man spreading the contagion.

Jen Psaki on CNN: I have “a responsibility not to allow the briefing room to become a forum for propaganda or for pushing forward falsehoods or inaccurate information.”

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 6, 2021

NY Times:

Democratic Report Raises 2022 Alarms on Messaging and Voter Outreach

A new report, in perhaps the most thorough soul-searching done by either party this year, points to an urgent need for the party to present a positive economic agenda and rebut Republican misinformation.

The 70-page report, obtained by The New York Times, was assembled at the behest of three major Democratic interest groups: Third Way, a centrist think tank, and the Collective PAC and the Latino Victory Fund, which promote Black and Hispanic candidates. It appears to be the most thorough act of self-criticism carried out by Democrats or Republicans after the last campaign.

The document is all the more striking because it is addressed to a victorious party: Despite their successes, Democrats had hoped to achieve more robust control of both chambers of Congress, rather than the ultra-precarious margins they enjoy

That doesn’t mean Manchin isn’t the crux of these decisions—if he took the opposite positions, it would pressure his colleagues to follow suit. But he has a bunch of colleagues who love that he keeps the pressure off them. And he loves being the contrarian for back home politics.

— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) June 6, 2021

Dan Pfeiffer/Substack:

How to Protect Democracy while Joe Manchin Dawdles

Passing H.R. 1 is the best, but not the only, way to save democracy. Here’s what we can do while we wait for Joe Manchin to make up up his mind

To be clear, the fight is not over. The Senate begins marking up the bill this week. I haven’t given up hope (no matter how many times Manchin tells me to). There is more work for all of us to do to build awareness and urgency for voting rights. There is still time for Manchin to change his mind. Federal voting rights legislation is the single best way to push back against the rising tide of authoritarianism in the Republican Party, but it’s not the only way.

We need to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. With that in mind here some things we can be doing right now to help protect democracy — even if H.R. 1 never makes it out of the Manchin cul-de-sac).

To me, the main issue/opportunity is the John Lewis Act, and here’s why:

Pls Read deeper: “Joe Manchin: Why I’m voting against For the People Act” But if you read his op-ed in full, he’s for the John Lewis Voting Rights bill that would put teeth back in the Voting Rights Act. That would block much of GOP voter suppression https://t.co/LyxtIgLn40

— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) June 6, 2021

For those interested, this is from March:

ACLU LETTER OPPOSING H.R. 1 (FOR THE PEOPLE ACT OF 2019)

While some of our concerns have been addressed or mitigated since introduction, the bill, in its current form, would still unconstitutionally burden the speech and associational rights of many public interest organizations and American citizens. These provisions will chill speech essential to our public discourse and would do little to serve the public’s legitimate interest in knowing who is providing substantial support for candidates’ elections.

To oversimplify, HR1 is more about voting administration, while the John Lewis Act is about restoring and building on the Voting Rights Act. They are complementary, but Manchin has secured Lisa Murkowski’s support for the John Lewis Act and its prospects are less dim than HR 1.

Here’s the Brennan Center’s annotated guide to HR 1.

Been watching golf a long time on tv….first time I’ve seen anything pride related. Especially by the leader on a Sunday afternoon. #pride @collin_morikawa. pic.twitter.com/o6LQbQ8hPG

— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) June 6, 2021

Joyce Vance/MSNBC:

Matt Gaetz, Donald Trump and why obstruction of justice matters

Interfering with justice cannot become the new norm. And we cannot tolerate any more efforts by our politicians to hold themselves above the law.
Elected officials don’t have the right to break the laws the rest of us have to follow. And they also shouldn’t be able to obstruct justice when they’re under investigation. If anything, the bar should be higher for our elected officials. Congress, after all, writes the laws that form the architecture of our criminal justice system and should be responsible for obeying them.

Noah Smith/Substack:

How to criticize China without abetting racism

There’s no perfect solution, but here are some ideas.

Even if U.S. leaders tried to go easy on China out of fear of stirring up racism at home, U.S. leaders are simply not in control of the situation the way they were back in the days of the Iraq War. China has power and agency here, and its spokespeople are out there beating the war drums even as its neighbors — including U.S. allies — grow more and more alarmed. If you actually think the U.S. is going to abandon its commitments, its allies, its principles, and its interests because some guy with a moustache yelled that great power competition is racist, you should probably think again.

In addition, people who identify any news story that reflects badly on the CCP as inherently anti-Asian are not helping the cause of combatting anti-Asian hate. If the lab leak theory turns out to be true, then it turns out to be true. And if that happens, the people who tried to denounce it as racist are going to look like they tried to cover up the truth. And the backlash to that will be worse than whatever harm those people think they prevented by denouncing the lab leak theory.

I keep seeing smart people get confused. The question is not whether CRT or Marx or Friedman or whatever should be taught in any particular class. The question is who should decide what gets taught in any given class. And the answer is definitely not the legislature or board.

— Ethan BdM (@ethanbdm) June 4, 2021

David Smith/Guardian:

Is America heading to a place where it can no longer call itself a democracy?

With Republicans still in thrall to Trump and odds-on to win control of the House of Representatives next year, there are growing fears that his presidency was less a historical blip than a harbinger of systemic decline.

“There was a momentary sigh of relief but the level of anxiety is actually strangely higher now than in 2016 in the sense that it’s not just about one person but there are broader structural issues,” said Daniel Ziblatt, co-author of How Democracies Die. “The weird emails that I get are more ominous now than they were in 2016: there seems to be a much deeper level of misinformation and conspiracy theories.”

Politico:

The partisan divide in vaccinations is starker than you realize

The effort to reach the unvaccinated has become the latest political fault line in the Covid response.

The data underscore how vaccinating the holdouts has become the latest political fault line in a nation that throughout the pandemic has been divided over mask-wearing, business restrictions and even the severity of a virus that’s killed nearly 600,000 Americans.

House members representing districts with low vaccination rates and public health experts, discussing their efforts to reach the unvaccinated, described what essentially has become two distinct conversations. One is aimed at chipping away at vaccine hesitancy among conservative white Republicans, while the other is centered around reducing socioeconomic barriers to vaccination for poorer populations and communities of color.

With a strong vaccination campaign, the United States was able to reduce the B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant’s toll to a bump in cases What might happen with B.1.617.2 (delta) which is ~50% more transmissible, and more evasive to our immune response? /1 pic.twitter.com/UPP56IlYcn

— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) June 6, 2021





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