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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

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.

This is the last portion of the video from the woman who works for the Trump family and Eric Trump's charitable foundation.

"To the skeptics who will undoubtedly claim that I'm doing this at the behest of the Trump family, or with the promise of reward, I deliberately chose not to seek their approval nor counsel in advance of this video for fear that there would be more concern for me and its potential viral ramifications than they would be for themselves and the fact that quite simply this is the right thing to do."

What does that mean?

Is the GOP vision really to create an economy that can sustain everybody to have their own multi-level marketing scam?

It's weird. Can it be a coincidence that so many of the men and women who've come forward to say that Donald Trump pointed them on the way to entrepreneurship and riches are involved in multi-level marketing schemes. Even Kimberlin Brown, the purported avocado farmer from last night, is involved with her own mlm racket, a company called Nerium.

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As our reporters on the ground in Cleveland are telling us, the "lock her up" theme of the Cleveland convention is pervasive. Signs, T-shirts, memorabilia - it's pervasive. It's not just a chant on the convention floor. The campaign isn't just comfortable with it. They're actively pushing it. We noted earlier that a New Hampshire Trump delegate, who's also a Trump advisor on veterans issue has just said Clinton should be "shot for treason." He's now being investigated by the Secret Service for threatening the former First Lady and Secretary of State's life.

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As we get ready for day three of the RNC, our annual sign up drive continues. Are you enjoying our convention coverage? Are you cutting through the nonsense with Trump's Razor? If you feel like you absolutely need TPM, please take a moment right now and join us as a Prime subscriber. It's important; it's awesome, you will be supporting our independent journalism and you'll be very glad you did. Just click right here.

We now have a sacrificial lamb. A Trump Org staffer who currently ghost writes Trump's books worked with Melania on the speech after Melania rejected the speech written for her by two top GOP speechwriters. Meredith McIver is taking the blame for the plagiarism. But when you read the explanation, Melania herself is extremely tightly bound up with how it all happened. She apparently really liked those passages from Michelle Obama's speech and read them to McIver over the phone as stuff she'd like to include in the speech. Here's the details.

As we've discussed, it's not normal for one nominee and his convention delegates to be chanting for the opposing party nominee to be put in prison. I felt a bit silly writing that because that is extremely obvious. But it's not some silly novelty. You go from opposition, to demands for imprisonment and finally for murder. We saw that case with the state rep down in West Virginia. Now we have a Trump delegate and advisor saying Clinton should be "shot for treason." This kind of incitement is poisonous to the political process and civic life generally. And let's be honest, it can have horrific consequences. This has the feeling of the crazy talk that was circulating about President Kennedy before November 1963.

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