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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

10:38 PM: So far I'd say it's a good (in an optics sense) version of Trump's message, which is hideous and built on lies. But as he goes forward the tone is getting more intense.

10:40 PM: Things will never change?

10:42 PM: I'm curious who these mothers are who he comforted because they were sold out by politicians.

10:42: How does she always manage to get into every convention? Believe me, they are not easy to get into. I was once sitting in a press box I think back in 2004 I think and suddenly the woman sitting next to me stood up and started protesters. And I think it was Medea Benjamin, the one who just stood up there.

10:44 PM: I think he just accused the FBI of being corrupt.

10:45 PM: Yep, he's accusing the FBI of covering up for Hillary. I guess including James Comey.

10:52 PM: The Law and Order candidate always launches racist attacks on judges.

10:53 PM: He's leveling with us and letting us know our country sucks. And we're apparently all going to die.

11:03 PM: Okay, he's really in the crazy Trump groove now. Please proceed, huckster.

10: 20 PM: Trump seems like he has his demeanor in check. But if he gives the speech that was released in advance it's going to be a jarring contrast with the one Ivanka just gave.

10:21 PM: He's already departing from the prepared speech. Now he's back.

10:26 PM: Here's the transcript so you can follow along.

10:29 PM: Coming off Ivanka's speech, which was basically a Democratic speech, I kind of thought it this would have a different feeling. But we're back to a pretty dark vision.

10:31 PM: "One international humiliation after another." ... this is a Trump speech.

10:32 PM: Humiliation is the thoroughgoing theme.

10:33 PM: Resisted the "lock her up" chant!

10:37 PM "The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. This will all change in 2017."

No

I don't know if you're having the same feeling. But listening to Ivanka Trump, I'd genuinely like to hear more about this man she's talking about. Seriously. Unfortunately, I've already seen a lot about the malignant narcissist Donald Trump actually is.

10:15 PM: I'm thinking a lot conventioneers are saying, "Wait, what?" when they hear about the pay equality and subsidized childcare agenda.

Wow

Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort is now accusing the FBI of falsifying national crime data.

There have been so many times through the on-going Trump spectacle where any observer could credibly say, 'This would never be credible in fiction.' Undoubtedly true and there will certainly be more of those times - probably more than we can imagine. But there is a particular way that is true about this convention that may not be entirely obvious. Good, credible storytelling is seldom so obviously, even woodenly didactic. Just as the paradigmatic American political convention devotes one night each to four of the candidate's essential campaign themes or personal traits, each night of Trump's debacle has been dedicated to graphically exploding one of his myths about himself.

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I tried, as events unfolded tonight, to piece together in the two posts below just what happened tonight and how. At first I was certain that Ted Cruz had executed an excruciating double cross of Donald Trump, a thoroughly disreputable and dangerous man, who had also humiliated Cruz, defamed his father and denigrated his wife. We now have two contending theories. The first: by whatever means, the Trump camp allowed Cruz, under their very noses, to blow up their convention through a feat of staggering, almost incomprehensible incompetence. Somehow, with so much at stake, they didn't even read the speech. The second: the Trump campaign knowingly allowed Cruz to light his bomb and then egged the conventioneers on to an outraged chorus of boos imagining that Cruz would be humiliated and that laying bare the GOP's protracted civil war before millions would in fact 'unify the party.'

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Since I wrote the post below things actually managed to get much, much weirder. I stand by the thrust of what I wrote about Cruz's speech. But there was one critical part of the equation I got wrong, though I think I deserve a pass because there was really no way to know - even despite Trump's Razor - that this level of stupidity was possible to contemplate. There's no reasonable way to blame me for this.

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As you know, I believe in my heart that Ted Cruz is an odious weasel. I base this on observing him for years now and on the accounts and traumas of many close friends who've known him for far longer. But that was a singular moment. Convention managers don't let unexpected things happen. If Ted Cruz had simply not mentioned Trump, it would have been a mild deal but not a huge thing. He did much more than that. He affirmatively not only refused to endorse Trump but exhorted fellow Republicans not to vote for Trump. Yes, he used the coded phrasing "vote your conscience." But in context that meant with with crystal clarity: Your Republican identity in no way obligates you to vote for Donald Trump. Rather 'vote your conscience' and do not vote for Donald Trump. Because a conservative true to his conscience cannot do so.

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This may be the first time in his life that Ted Cruz has found a righteous reason to make yet more people hate him. Wow.

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