Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I'm going to be away for a week. Please keep an eye on the country.

I noted on Friday that what seems very likely to be the Clinton v Trump general election match-up will be a gendered electoral armageddon - an unreconstructed, unabashed and angry male chauvinist against a women of great power and accomplishment who can more than hold her own against him. It will be ugly. But I think it will be Trump's undoing. Remember, Clinton's already beating Trump in all the head to head match ups (as is Sanders). So he doesn't need much undoing. But I think he'll get it.

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In my series of impromptu essays about Trump and Trumpism I've repeatedly returned to the topic of 'dominance politics' and the way it informs virtually everything about Trump's campaign. So far I've discussed it mainly in the context of domestic, electoral politics. That's the framework in which I usually think about it. But since Trump will almost certainly be the Republican nominee and thus possibly become President, it's important to think through the implications abroad as well.

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Recently I was talking to an activist in the gun control movement. The issue that most interested me is that while the number of guns in circulation has gone up dramatically in the United States, the number of people who own firearms has been declining steadily for forty years. In other words, a smaller number of people are owning more and more guns.

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There's a really good article in Slate by my friend Frank Foer under the headline "Donald Trump Hates Women." It's good for two reasons. First, it pulls together the numerous anecdotes, quotes, incidents and events going back five or even six decades demonstrating the point embodied in the headline and, second, weaves them all together in a way that is not just as an indictment, which it can't help but being, but an explanation of a certain type of character.

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Over the last week I've seen a number of new articles claiming again that Democrats shouldn't be so sure Donald Trump is an easy beat in the fall. He could reshuffle the deck in unexpected ways and become a formidable candidate. Now, before sharing my thoughts on this I want to restate what I've been saying for months which is that I think that the range of possibilities in a Clinton v Trump match up is anything from a narrow Trump victory to a historic Clinton blow out. Trump can win. He has the inherent power of celebrity familiarity; Clinton has the inherent weakness of seeking a third term in power for her party; Trump has a galvanizing and clear message for aggrieved white voters; and, critically, he would basically be the first ever anti-trade liberalization, anti-globalization presidential candidate - a critically undeserved niche in the national party system. With all this said though it is important to see just how long a shot this 'reshuffle the deck with white working class voters' model really is.

Let's start with some thought experiments.

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From John Judis ...

Another terrorist attack, this time in Brussels. I don’t see an end to these, and at the same time I don’t think Americans or Europeans will accept a strategy of letting them play out on the grounds that less people die in terrorist attacks than in highway accidents or bathtub electrocutions. They will strengthen the hand of interventionists, but not sufficiently so that the threat can finally be eliminated rather than exacerbated. They will draw the United States and Europe into a conflict that it is not prepared to fight to the end, which would involve not just the military, but unprecedented diplomatic moves that would undo 150 years of Western intervention in the Middle East and North Africa.

Several points here:

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I'm not sure anything better captures the GOP's inability to grasp what's happening to it than the House Freedom Caucus wrestling with how to grapple with the rise of Donald Trump and how to resist his candidacy. Donald Trump is the Freedom Caucus. You might even say, in the beginning was the Freedom Caucus. And then the Freedom Caucus became flesh and walked among us. And his name was Donald Trump.

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