Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Good Luck With That

One of the great privileges of being in Congress is the relative anonymity, the anonymity of numbers. That may sound counter-intuitive or even nonsensical; but it's true. Very few pieces of legislation are sufficiently politicized to focus a spotlight individually on the hundreds of members of the House of Representatives. It's scarcely less true of the Senate. Even when issues or bills do gin up sufficient attention members can usually skate by with bromides about considering all the relevant issues or giving this important issue careful consideration and other such can-kicking nonsense. Then there are all the parliamentary complexities that help further muddy the picture. Without any way to get a clear sense of where people stand and which votes count, politicians can do what they do best, which is to keep their options open as long as possible and hope that hard decisions never have to be made at all. The key is that there's safety in the herd. As long as there's some diffuse, collective decision-making and no real way to pin particular people down, everybody is safe.

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It's All Yours, Dude

I wanted to share a couple thoughts on Paul Ryan's statement that he's happy to step down as convention chair if that's what Donald Trump wants. First, it's important to recognize that the nominee owns the convention. It's his show. If Trump wanted someone else to chair the convention, Ryan would really have little choice but to step aside. But that's really not the point.

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Again, The USA is Not a Highly Leveraged Casino

Donald Trump is out with a new statement this morning, attacking The New York Times for distorting what he said about reducing the federal debt by deal-making with bond holders to reduce the amount the US government has to pay out to them. In truth, it's more than just the Times, though Trump seems to have decided they were the best target for his broadside. You can read the statement here.

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This Is Astounding

So many stories in presidential politics, in all politics, are more sound and fury than substance. This one isn't. It's hard to overstate how big a deal it is. Donald Trump caught a lot of grief during the primaries for putting several of his companies through bankruptcies during his career. He's also made a point of arguing that he'd bring his brand of "deal-making" to the presidency. It now seems like both of those things may have been way more significant than maybe anyone realized.

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"The Nominee" Surges on Trump Endorsement Scorecard

Big news today on the Official TPM Elected Official Trump Endorsement Scorecard. Still pretty few endorsements for Trump but "the nominee" continues to surge with numerous elected Republicans saying they'll support him. ("the Nominee 2016" shirts are selling like crazy.) Meanwhile, Paul Ryan and other go into the Fuzzball category. (Keep your email tips coming - a huge resource for our team assembling the Scorecard.)