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David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

TPM Reader RM responds to John Judis:

I disagree with John Judis’ analysis regarding the terrorist attack in Europe. I think he conflates issues in the Middle East with those of the Muslim community living abroad. I don’t think the two are linked as closely as he assumes. I also think he conflates terrorism (a tactic) with the ideology of militant Islamic fundamentalism.

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After you read this, you might miss Dick Cheney's credulous legalisms, squirmy rationales, and unconvincing denials on torture.

The outside conservative legal groups who are the hired gun enforcers of the Senate GOP stonewall against considering any Obama SCOTUS nominee are saying they're cool with Republican senators meeting with Merrick Garland. They're even cool with discussions of confirming him in a lame duck session if a Democrats wins the White House in November. I think that's just putting a good face on things after the fact because this is not in the script they had in mind. The script was an absolute no. The whole point was avoiding getting into the particulars on the nominee. Just no. It's why Mitch McConnell made his unseemly play almost as soon as Scalia's death was confirmed to shut it all down before it started.

Alright, I want to be clear that this disagreement among Senate Republicans is over a minor subplot in the Merrick Garland confirmation saga: Would they confirm him in a lame duck session after the November election if Hillary Clinton wins? The idea is that Garland would be a better (and probably older) choice than anyone Hillary would nominate, especially if Republicans have lost the Senate.

But as I noted below that idea really undercuts the GOP's rationale for a united opposition to even considering Obama's nominee now. And several GOP senators already see why that is problematic.

"We can't have it both ways," Lindsey Graham said. "We cannot say 'let the people speak,' and then say 'no, you can't.' If you are going to let the people speak, let 'em speak and honor their choice."

More from Lauren Fox on The Hill here.

Orrin Hatch is obviously a big fan of Merrick Garland. Not just in the sense that he voted to confirm him to the appeals court nearly two decades ago and now Dems want to use that against him. But in a real, this-is-my-kind-of-Democrat kind of way.

Here's Hatch in 1997 singing Garland's praises. But even as recently as last week Hatch was like, yeah, right, Obama will never nominate someone like Garland when he can pander to the liberal base. Oops.

And now you've got Hatch undercutting the GOP stonewall by saying he'd consider confirming Garland in a lame duck session if Hillary Clinton wins in November.

This idea that Senate Republicans will roll over if Hillary Clinton wins in November and go ahead and confirm Merrick Garland in a lame duck session really undercuts their whole argument about why they can't even consider his nomination now. Nina Totenberg reports this lame duck thing was signaled to the White House via back channels. Sen. Orrin Hatch is on board with it. Lauren Fox has other GOP senators expressing irritation with the idea. And you can understand why. Her report coming soon.

I want to be careful not to over-interpret this, but a few more Republican senators have said today they would be willing to meet with Merrick Garland. That is at odds with what Senate GOP leadership and conservative outside groups have been calling for, mainly because they want to avoid going down a slippery slope where it becomes about the nominee rather than their blanket opposition to Obama naming the next Supreme Court justice.

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