TPM Reader CM refocuses us on gender …

I agree really strongly with your general take on Trump being an expression of white backlash, but I also wanted to add that I think you’re missing a really important component: GENDER.


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TPM Reader JB reminds us and me that elections are about the future, not the past and not to focus too much on a relatively thin slice of voters …

You make a number of good points about Trumpism and the Democrats. They call for thought. So, here is mine.


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TPM Reader JB rightly notes there’s no single explanation or solution …

I hope you are well. I have been thinking about your piece this morning, the one on the 8th, and Greg Sargent’s piece yesterday in regards to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece. I think my biggest problem with the way this conversation is playing out is that we have to deliver a single silver bullet to slay Trumpism, “Identifying the roots of Trumpism doesn’t give you sufficient answers to how to combat it, especially if it’s true that there are enough white voters, susceptible to activation by white backlash politics, to win national elections.”


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TPM Reader DL thinks my whole premise is wrong …

Josh wrote this in his blog entry on the Intra-Dem divide:

“But the reality is that simple math tells you that some significant number of white voters who were activated by racist appeals need to be won back to turn back the tide of Trumpism. This has the certainty of math.”
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Probably not surprisingly I got a large number of responses to my post this morning on the intra-Democratic divide. These were responses to that post and also my post from other the weekend responding to the Coates’ piece in The Atlantic. I’m going to try to publish a number of them this evening. They run the gamut. I don’t agree or disagree with particular ones. But I think the breadth of opinions and insights are worth absorbing.

Here’s Part 2 of my conversation with Professor Stephen Shoemaker about his book The Death of a Prophet on the origins of Islam. If you missed Part 1, you can listen to it here. As I noted when we ran the first episode, this is one of the most interesting historical works I’ve read in some time.

Back at the end of July we cut short the last two weeks of our Prime sign up drive until we’d done a full rebuild of the sign-up process, making it easier to use, making instructions more clear, making it more straightforward how to purchase credits and easier to apply to get free subscriptions. We’ve finally finished that process after a lot of hard work by our design and tech team. So we’ll be jumping back in for two more weeks of our drive. For now, though, I wanted address one point which I’ve told many of you over the last few months I’d get back to you on.

A number of existing Prime members have asked if they could do more to support TPM journalism beyond their Prime membership fee. Well, yes, you can! Part of the reason we were doing the rebuild I mentioned was to make the sign up and record keeping process for doing so more robust and organized. This weekend we finally rolled out our FIN (Future Is Now) program. You can purchase FIN credits and that money is all specifically and exclusively earmarked for our growing TPM Investigations Desk.

At the same time, for each credit people purchase we will make available a free Prime subscription for an enrolled student – high school, college, graduate, full-time or part-time. They’re available for any enrolled student.

So do you want to turbo-charge our investigative reporting. Just click right here to purchase FIN credits. Are you a student who’d like to get a free Prime subscription? Just click here.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. accompanied by members of the House and Senate Democrats, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. House and Senate Democrats gather to call for Congressional Republicans to stand up to President Trump's decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative by bringing the DREAM Act for a vote on the House and Senate Floor. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Over the weekend I dipped into the debate within the Democratic party and the left side of the political spectrum over the meaning of Trumpism and the path forward to defeat it. As I noted, I’m pretty clearly on the side that sees Trump and Trumpism as fundamentally about race and racial backlash. It’s not solely about that. It’s also about rural areas versus cities, it’s about Christianity, it’s about sexual traditionalism. But fundamentally it is about race. That’s my take and the take of many others.
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I noted yesterday what I think should be obvious: that there is no ‘bipartisan path’. Beyond that, it’s quite something to see how rapidly a number of mainstream media voices have moved from Trump as far-right ideologue putting racist revanchism at the center of statecraft to Trump as post-ideological, pragmatic dealmaker. Serious, what are you people thinking?
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Michael McFaul is Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Professor of Political Science at Stanford, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Additionally, Michael served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House, and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. His current research interests include American foreign policy, great power relations, and the relationship between democracy and development.

Michael will be joining us in The Hive to discuss American foreign policy, Russia, and more. Post your questions or join us this Tuesday! If you’d like to participate but don’t have TPM Prime, sign up here.

It’s quite a moment. Last month Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair said that the the Antifa and BLM “thugs” at Charlottesville were a bigger threat than the Nazis and alt-righters. Now he’s gone all in and posted an actual anti-Semitic meme on Facebook. 
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President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up after meeting people impacted by Hurricane Harvey during a visit to the NRG Center in Houston, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

I see here and there news reports discussing President Trump’s new ‘bipartisan path’, which has Republicans gnashing their teeth and Democrats not so much rejoicing as relishing the pain of their Republican colleagues. This is wonderful to watch. But it’s not a ‘bipartisan path’. It’s not even close.
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On balance, I still think $100,000 isn’t that much money. Indeed, I suspect there’s much more to be found. But this adds very important context that makes the whole thing look a little different.

The company tried to downplay the amount of ad money the Russian firm spent, observing that $100,000 is a drop in the bucket for most political campaigns. But Facebook’s ability to target an audience, both geographically and by preference, means that as political advertising it is far undervalued, according to Gordon Borrell, CEO of ad industry analytics firm Borell Associates, which produces a detailed annual report on political advertising.
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Mick Mulvaney says Donald Trump is likely annoyed with Republican leaders over their inability to pass legislation. And Mulvaney says he can understand because he is too. As a friend notes, this is almost comical hypocrisy. Mulvaney may not be in the House anymore. But as a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, Mulvaney is ground zero for why Republicans are no longer able to act as a functioning caucus.

So what on Earth is up with Trump now ringing up Nancy Pelosi to ask her advice on reassuring DACA recipients? I would certainly say it’s one of the weirder developments of the Trump era. It’s an extremely high bar.
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I’ve just read through Donald Trump Jr’s account of the now-notorious June 2016 meeting with that Russian lawyer in Trump Tower. Here are my thoughts.
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President Donald Trump meets with, from left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Why did President Trump shock Republicans and official Washington by abandoning his own Congressional leadership and cutting a debt-ceiling deal with Congressional Democrats? To review, Trump abruptly agreed to a Democratic proposal for a three month debt ceiling extension tied to Harvey relief aid. Democrats were so stunned they tried to go as lo-fi as they could with their victory lap, fearful that any overt celebration would prompt Trump to reconsider. This late Times report confirms that even Trump’s Treasury Secretary, the husband of actress Louise Linton, was caught off guard.

So what’s up with this?
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In the rush to remove statues, rename facilities and generally close the era of memorialization of Confederate leaders and military figures, I’m surprised there’s been so little mention of US military bases. To be clear, it’s certainly not like I’m the first to ever raise the issue. It’s been discussed quite a lot over the years and especially in recent years. But I’ve seen relatively little mention of it in the post-Charlottesville period.
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President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Congressional leaders and administration officials on tax reform, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

I want to add a few thoughts about what’s unfolding with DACA. But before I do I want to be clear that it is largely or at least for now seemingly disconnected from the fate of the hundreds of thousands of young people President Trump has put on the chopping block. But that could change.
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Let me share a few thoughts about President Trump’s decision to end DACA. If reports are to be believed – and I suspect they generally are – the President was conflicted on this decision. He wanted to satisfy his promise to his core voters but he also did not want to get the blame for the impact of the decision. This is an important distinction between not wanting to inflict human suffering and not wanting to get blamed for it. In any case, as he put it in his tweet this morning, he’s leaving it up to Congress to prevent the carnage. 
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