Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Yesterday in Ames, Iowa, in the course of suggesting raising the retirement age for Social Security and asking people to voluntarily give up their monthly checks, Ben Carson said ...

Ben Carson called for “groupthink” to combat the looming funding crisis in the country’s Social Security program at a campaign rally in Ames on Saturday.

“We have to start thinking, have groupthink in this country,” Carson said in response to a question from the crowd about unfunded entitlement liabilities.

“We need to maximize the potential of all our people if we’re going to be able to compete in the future. So we have to start thinking corporately as an entity.”

I'll kick this post off by acknowledging that this issue likely has not gotten too much attention because nobody thinks Ben Carson is going to be the Republican nominee. But Republicans seem to have decided in the last two or three weeks that Donald Trump actually could become the Republican nominee. And Ben Carson is the only one running even close to him in the current (yes, yes, yes very early) horse race numbers.

So here's my question: Establishment Republicans are positively terrified by a Trump nomination for two distinct reasons. First, because they assume he'd eventually go down in flames and take other party standard-bearers down with him. Second, he's really pretty heterodox from a GOP perspective. In the terrifying hypothetical that Trump were actually elected 45th President they don't really have any sense of what he'd do in office. (For myself, I could easily imagine a President Trump ending up like second term Arnold Schwarzenegger.) So if Trump's the worst case scenario, what about Carson? It seems to me that even from a partisan perspective, Carson is at least as catastrophic as Trump.

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Scratch the below. Now just 36 sign-ups to go to get to the halfway point! But the link below still works just fine to sign up and help us get to 1500.


We're now approaching the halfway point to our goal of 3000 new Prime Members by the end of the calendar year. We're at 1350 as of this morning. Just a 150 more to go to that milestone. If you've been thinking about signing up for Prime, but just haven't had a convenient moment, can you take a moment now and take the plunge? Just stop for a moment, grab your credit card and type it in. It's real quick. It means a great deal for our organization. And if you've been on the fence, it's risk free for three days. Just click right here and join us. We thank you.

Late Update: Now just 97 91 to go!

We thought we wouldn't have Sen. David Vitter to kick around anymore? Good lord, this is quite a story. If you know politics, you know you can't put anything past the novelesque and often delicious nonsense that goes on in Louisiana. But this is good stuff even for the Big Easy and it brings in the mix of malevolence and desperate incompetence of Fargo. Anyway, let's go to the tape - literally.

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The reviews appear to be unanimous. For Republican committee members, yesterday's aggressively-billed, epic, hinge-of-history interrogation of Hillary Clinton was something ranging from a catastrophe to, as The Washington Examiner's Byron York put it, "a bust." Erick Erickson called it a "waste of time." It went downhill from there.

Obsessing about Clinton's friend who didn't seem to have anything to do with anything was either bemoaned or ridiculed across the board. I saw it as more than anything the GOP committee members' long, desperate twilight struggle to find out what they were even trying to talk about. The mission was not successful. Though they left it all on the field ... of battle.

I think it wasn't just a no news event and thus by definition good news for Hillary, as Byron put it. I think it was a good deal more.

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TPM Reader BA checked in mid-day about the events on Capitol Hill ...

Re: "It helps her", I think I would add that it's hard for me to imagine any of the Democrats running against Hillary pulling this off as well.

As an active Democrat who has remained, thus far, undecided, her performance here and at the debate have gone a long way toward convincing me to support Clinton instead of Sanders; even though, politically, my ideals line up more closely with Sanders' democratic socialism than Clinton's quasi-third way centrism.

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I think Sen. Reid and those other Senators are right that it would probably be appropriate for the RNC to pick up the tab for the millions spent by Trey Gowdy's 'Benghazi committee'. But in fairness, probably fair for the DNC to pick up the bill for day's event.