Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Chris Matthews holds a no-smooches-barred interview with Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX). The vultures continue to swirl around Rep. Doolittle (R-CA). Those stories and other news of the day in today's Daily Muck.

Start Change and MyDD just commissioned a 23 question national poll covering a variety of questions of national import. And they posed two on the subject of Iraq.

Question #12 is, did you support the invasion. Not how are things going or is it time to go. But did you support it at the time.

The results aren't surprising: strongly support 18.7%, support 28.7%, oppose 21.8%, strongly oppose 25.0%.

But they followed with an open-ended, why?

You can see the data here. But the thumbnail version is that there's no consensus for why people supported or opposed.

Some of this is a matter of the fuzziness built into an open-ended question. For instance, among supporters, 3% said they supported because it was "the right thing to do." 3.3% said that it was "inevitable/ [or] someone had to do something." Presumably these are different flavors of the same answer, though precisely how it answers the question, I'm not entirely sure.

Basically, what I draw from this is that every conceivable theory and ground of opposition to the war at least clocks in with a few percentage points of support. But no single reason registers even as much as ten percent.

At a deeper level, I suspect that there are more gut-level roots to both positions, ones that don't sound reasoned enough to state in their purest form. People then articulate those views from the various arguments on offer.

Rep. Curt Weldon spreads the wealth. One lobbyist at a time. That and other news of the day is today's Daily Muck.

Sen. Obama (D-IL) said this morning that Democrats need to focus on convincing voters that "their values are at stake" in cases like the Alito hearings rather than relying on procedural gambits like the filibuster.

But I'm not sure I understand why it has to be either/or.

The fundamental challenge for Democrats on the judicial front is that these debates are too drowned in technical jurisprudential debates to really resonate with the public. So I think Obama is certainly right on that count. I would add that confirmation debates like this one tend to be focused on too narrow a set of issues. There's an elemental of Mark Schmitt's 'policy literalism' in play here.

But again, why does it have to be one or the other? I don't get that.

The nomination is a sop to the president's rightwing base. The man is a rightwing ideologue. He doesn't belong on the court. There's nothing to be ashamed of in doing everything possible to prevent his being seated if there's any chance of success.

According to his hometown paper, the Auburn Journal, Rep. Doolittle (R-CA) is reaching out to his inner circle of funders to raise $100,000 in January to fend off what he's describing as a concerted attack by Democrats -- presumably run through the Bush Justice Department -- to drive him from office.

Says Doolittle in his money appeal: "Make no mistake about it. The liberal media wants the Democrats back in control of Congress. They don't like conservatives. They don't like President Bush, and they don't like what we stand for. They will stop at nothing to accomplish their goal."

Doolittle's plea comes amidst new disclosures tying him to the Duke Cunningham influence-peddling and bribery scandal.

There are a lot of trial dates, court appearances and sentencing hearings coming up in the next months -- the DeLay case, Abramoff fixer David Safavian's trial, the Gus Boulis murder trial, the Duke Cunningham case and a lot more.

Many of you have been writing in asking for info about when this or that court date is coming up. So tomorrow we'll be a rolling out a new feature. It's a timeline, but about future events not stuff that's already happened. We're calling it the Grand Old Docket.

We'll post a link when it's up.

From the Post, a depressing, edifying article about Fatah and Hamas.