TPM Cafe: Opinion

In my column last week I mentioned seven distinct advantages Republicans had in pursuing control of the Senate in this cycle, along with the entirely unrelated “mandates” they are likely to claim if they don’t blow a winning hand. I might have added that in addition to the unreal individual factors that will be cited as reasons for a GOP victory heavily dictated by ephemeral circumstances of landscape and turnout, we will hear a lot of thundering about a “center-right nation” and “the death of liberalism” and so on and so forth. While all kinds of partisans tend to see irreversible world-historical trends in every election win, today’s Republicans are especially prone to confusing themselves with the essence of Americanism.

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Updated 10:24 a.m. ET

Few issues these days bring the rhetorical heat like education. So I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to see a new attack site purporting to reveal “The Real Campbell Brown” as a right-wing mouthpiece shilling for Wall Streeters. After all, Brown is a leader in an ongoing legal fight in New York — where several lawsuits are seeking to replicate a recent California court’s decision striking down a number of the state’s teacher tenure rules (Vergara v. California).

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Lack of “maternal instincts.” That is what local Ravalli County deputy attorney Thorin Geist dubbed it when he spoke about Casey Gloria Allen, a 21-year-old Montana woman being charged with criminal endangerment of a child.

The “child,” in this case, was a 12-week fetus, and the “endangerment” was that Allen tested positive for narcotics.

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On the surface, the lyrics of our National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” seem very clear —that Georgetown lawyer and part-time poet and songwriter Francis Scott Key saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry at the entrance to Baltimore harbor during the British Royal Navy’s bombardment of September 13–14, 1814. Because the lyrics say that, it must be the truth. Right?

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The backlash is already here.

As an academic who studies domestic violence, I was surprised by the Ray Rice episode. Not because of the gruesome nature of the video allegedly depicting the former Baltimore Ravens star punching his then-fiancee out cold—24 percent of women will experience “severe physical violence” from an intimate partner sometime in their lifetime. I was surprised because it provoked universal condemnation.

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This weekend, Hillary Clinton will make her first trip to Iowa of the election cycle. I’m a Liberal Political Strategist who associates with a circle of mostly Liberal Political Strategist friends. I can tell you, many (most) of us are rolling our eyes at the prospect of a Clinton nomination.

Like a Good Liberal Political Strategist, I'm a big fan of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). I rooted for her appointment to lead the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, cursed Senate Republicans when it become clear that appointment wouldn't happen, celebrated her victory over Scott Brown, and have watched Upworthy videos of her grilling bankers in committee hearings countless times. I've also never been a fan of Hilary Clinton's foreign policy hawkishness, her default to corporate interests over the well-being of marginalized communities, or her coziness with Rupert Murdoch.

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Dark money groups have already poured more than $5 million into Arizona’s elections this cycle. These organizations, carefully constructed to protect the identities of their contributors, play a heavy hand in influencing election outcomes.

This is because Arizona places no restrictions on the dark money groups, and there is no legal obligation to reveal contributors. As a result, Arizona is quickly becoming the Cayman Islands for moving dark money.

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