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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

It was a big day yesterday. Against the expectations of many, House Republicans were able to come back from a demoralizing defeat in March and pass a slightly revised version of their “American Health Care Act.” That is to say, repeal Obamcare and replace it with Trumpcare. After passing it with 217 votes, they partied, bigly.  Here’s a collection of photographs of the good times, annotated with the number of people who will lose their health care coverage in each representative’s district.

Click the “read more” link to see the full story where the photos are large enough to easily read the annotations.

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This is both an homage and a literal repetition of what Republicans did when the Clinton tax bill passed in the House in 1993. Same singing, same song. The bill paved the way for budget balancing over the course of the decade and (more arguably) played a role in creating the prosperity of that decade. It also came little more than a year before Democratic majorities in both Houses were annihilated in the 1994 midterm.

David has the basic overview below of what is coming today. I wanted to add a few more points about what to expect and just as, or perhaps more, importantly what you can do now.

First, this should remind us of what I’ve previously called the Iron Law of Republican Politics. That is, the ‘GOP moderates’ will always cave. I learned this law back in 1998-99 during the impeachment drama. Lots of Republicans thought impeachment was insanity. They warned against it. Said it shouldn’t happen. Said it would be a disaster. Every Republican in the House but four ended up voting for it.

That’s the Iron Law: the ‘GOP moderates’ will always cave.

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I had planned on writing this post early this month. But Sunday evening I got into an exchange on Twitter about the controversy with the Times and Bret Stephens and many people canceling their subscriptions over his hiring. That prompted me to discuss some broader questions about the future of digital news journalism and advertising. It gives me a launching off point to discuss the broader issue. As I explained in that exchange, I have no dog in the Times fight. People should make their choices and – this is all I’ll say – whenever possible judge publications in their totality and over time. The leeway to make some mistakes is one thing that keeps a publication vital. But I want to talk in more depth about the issue of journalism and subscriptions, both in terms of the journalism industry generally and specifically how it affects TPM.

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It now seems likely that there will be a House vote on Trumpcare Third Try some time this week. It might well not happen. It’s impossible to know for sure. But it does appear much more likely than people thought as recently as this morning.

Here’s the big thing to keep in mind, front and center. Trumpcare 1.0 went down in flames in part because of the CBO score showing that 24 million people would lose their health care coverage and that most of the protections provided by Obamacare would be scrapped.

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We’re now past the 100 Days. And it was more or less universally agreed that, in historical terms and against expectations, it was an abysmal failure. President Trump as much as conceded this with his wild mix of angry denunciations of the 100 Days standard combined with press releases touting meaningless metrics like number of executive orders signed, number of foreign leaders talked to and similar nonsense. Set all that aside. That’s really a given. What I’m interested in now is Trump’s reaction. He failed. He gets that. But why did he fail? In the Trumpian psyche, it can’t be Trump’s personal failure or a failure of strategy. So who’s to blame?

In recent days, we’ve gotten the answer, though I have not seen it put together as such. The problem is the constitution or more generally, democracy.

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I wanted to share some background perspective on The Trumpcare Long March and whether there’s a chance Trump will still be able to repeal Obamacare and toss 20+ million off their healthcare care coverage. 

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