In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) released a scathing statement Wednesday morning blasting House GOP leaders for the primary loss of fellow Freedom caucus member Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), a fifth generation farmer who found himself without a job Tuesday night after playing official agitator to his own party's leadership for years.

"At times, Tim’s commitment to fighting for smaller, more accountable government required him to stand up and say no to ‘business as usual’ in Washington," Jordan wrote in the release. "For this, he was punished by the same party insiders and special interests that Republican voters across the country overwhelmingly rejected at the ballot box throughout the presidential nomination process."

Read More →

Donald Trump's vision of a realigned U.S. foreign policy is already threatening to destabilize the current international system and force the world to reappraise America's role in it even before Trump sets foot in the Oval Office, some top U.S. foreign policy experts are arguing.

Trump's often disjointed and ill-informed remarks on international affairs are themselves troubling, but the deeper concern among experts is his disregard for security arrangements built on predictability and longstanding American commitments.

Phillip Lohaus, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says that in his personal experience, as he has traveled abroad over the last year, "every conversation begins and ends with Trump."

"A lot of these people don't understand why a candidate would seek to change an international system that was designed by America and benefits America," Lohaus said. "They don't understand why we would undermine that when it is in our interest to keep things together."

Whether it's his backing away from America's NATO commitments, his softer posture toward Russia or his more bellicose approach toward nearly everyone else, Trump is unraveling the bipartisan foreign policy consensus that has held sway for decades -- and that is not going unnoticed abroad.

“He's done serious damage to our position abroad because clearly people wonder whether he reflects an underlying sense of isolationism on the part of the United States that even if he doesn’t win the White House is far more serious than anybody thought," said Dov Zakheim, a foreign policy adviser who has worked with Republicans on foreign policy from the Ronald Reagan administration to the Mitt Romney campaign.

Trump's worldview– including his insistence over the weekend that Russia would not invade Ukraine (even though it already occupied Crimea) and his declarations that he would "bomb the shit" out of ISIS without much consideration for civilian casualties–has alarmed traditionally hawkish, Republican-aligned foreign policy advisers and operatives and left leaders on both sides nervous that the world is beginning to reexamine the U.S.'s position on the world stage.

Outside of the broad reshaping of America's role, experts note that Trump is causing countries to begin discussing contingency plans just in case he's elected.

In Japan, Lohaus said he was stunned to see a reinvigorated discussion of building up of the country's military. Lohaus said noted serious discussions about amending the country's Article Nine, which dictates that Japan's only military force be for essential self defense, a post-World War II policy that has been credited with helping stabilize the region for nearly 75 years.

"They have to start thinking, 'Maybe we need to start thinking about ourselves,'" Lohaus told TPM.

Many security experts who spoke with TPM emphasized that Trump's words have introduced a real uncertainty among allies that the U.S. may not be as willing to help in a crisis as its past presidents have been.

"There are a number of places in the world where stability depends heavily on U.S. reliability and U.S. involvement and calling those into question can be destabilizing as other countries decide to look out for themselves," said Philip Levy, a senior fellow on global economy at the Chicago Council On Global Affairs.

Levy pointed out that as Trump has made demonizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership a cornerstone of his campaign, U.S. allies may give more consideration to a competing alternative – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership– which the U.S. is not a part of and would put China in the driver's seat of setting Asian trade policy. While Hillary Clinton has also come out against TPP and the path to approving the deal was always narrow, Levy noted that Trump's crusade against it in swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio have only made "the narrow window seem even narrower."

Read More →

A slew of post-convention polls has set the stage for the rest of the presidential race, and Donald Trump has a long way to go.

The first batch of top line numbers are in, and they show Hillary Clinton pulling away from the narrow lead she had over Trump going into last month’s conventions. Her lead, in polls taken in the last few days, varies from three to nine percentage points, depending on which poll you’re looking at.

Read More →

At some point, when gearing up to run for president for a second time, Hillary Clinton decided that she was not going to run away from the reality that she could be the first female presidential nominee of a major party ticket. Judging by the reception her achievement received in Philadelphia this week, it was a wise decision.

In interviews with TPM throughout the Democratic National Convention, Clinton delegates brought up -- often unprompted -- the historical nature of her nomination, a milestone her campaign has also embraced.

Read More →

PHILADELPHIA -- After six years of dozens of Obamacare repeal votes, campaign ads in which GOP candidates literally blow the law into smithereens, and a consistent political tenor that has treated the Affordable Care Act as if it was the most divisive piece of legislation passed in American history, Hillary Clinton believes she can bring Republicans to the table to make it better, rather than destroy it.

Or at least, that’s what her advisers say, many of them appearing on panels and mingling at events during the Democratic National Convention attended by lobbyists, advocates and other professionals with vested interests in the law.

Read More →

PHILADELPHIA – Eight years after President Barack Obama made history and won his party’s nomination at the Democratic convention in Denver, African-American voters at the convention in Philadelphia are reflecting on what that victory has meant for them and whether Hillary Clinton– a pioneer on the gender frontier –will be able to pick up where he left off.

Read More →

PHILADELPHIA – After Donald Trump's blockbuster press conference Wednesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) predicts that even her Republican colleagues might be plotting to go into the voting booth come November and cast their ballot clandestinely for Hillary Clinton.

"I will tell you this. I would bet serious money that most of my Republican colleagues vote for Hillary Clinton," McCaskill told TPM in a sit-down interview Wednesday. "They care that much about their country. There will be some that won't ... it will be a secret, but I have an awful lot of confidence in a lot of my Republican colleagues."

Read More →

PHILADELPHIA-- Leon Panetta, the former CIA director and Defense secretary, slammed Donald Trump and the comments that he made Wednesday suggesting the Russians should hack Hillary Clinton's emails and release them publicly.

"In my over 50 years in public life, this is the screwiest damn election I've ever seen," Panetta said.

After noting that he had served under nine presidents, Republican and Democratic, Panetta said, "This is the first election where there's only one candidate who has the experience, temperament, the understanding of the world to be commander-in-chief."

Read More →