EDITORS' BLOG
What Sense Are You Making of the Post-Trump Era?

You see the question. Tell me what you’re thinking, what sense you’re making of the post-Trump Era. How does it feel? Withdrawal? Relief? Confusion? Perhaps as important as anything what do you expect? Over the next year and the next four?

I’ve written in a few posts about what I’ve called the Politics of Opaqueness, how much the direction of events is now seemingly driven by decisions, developments, fortuitous and otherwise, that are outside of our view. Even more than this though, I think most people – myself included – thought we had a pretty clear view into what a post-Trump presidency would be like. Trump leaving doesn’t mean the end of Trumpism, he’ll continue to dominate the scene from the outside. In the event, I don’t think much of that has turned out to be true.

What are you seeing? Drop me your notes at the main email address.

Where Things Stand: A Return To The Other Very American Problem
Prime Membership Required

The pandemic has brought to a head the complexities of one very uniquely American problem: the emphasis we as a country put on individual freedoms, which, this past year, has repeatedly run headlong into the need to care for our fellow man during a global health crisis.

It’s also revealed in new ways a more depressing American problem: mass shootings.

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Milestones and What’s Next

Today is the first day that everyone in the United States 16 and over is eligible to be vaccinated. 25.4% of the US population is now fully vaccinated. But look a bit deeper and you see that as of this morning 50.4% of Americans 18 and over have now received at least one shot. 32.5% are fully vaccinated. Given the interval of 3 or 4 weeks between injections, we can figure that by mid-May around 50% of all adults will have been vaccinated.

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Watch The New Episode Of The Josh Marshall Podcast: Politics of Opaqueness

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast just landed. You can listen to it here.

This week, Josh and Kate discuss policing reform, analyze the dynamics around the infrastructure package and introduce a new segment.

Watch below:

Follow us on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Where Things Stand: Anti-Trans Bills Are The GOP’s New Culture War. But Most Americans Aren’t On Board
Prime Membership Required

Without any real policy agenda, Republicans in Congress have largely seized on various fronts in the culture war to distract from Biden’s successes. And GOPers at the state level are doing the same, with a new heightened focus on an element of their socially conservative base’s traditional values: Going after the LGBT community.

Lately, that’s meant a fresh wave of anti-trans rights bills.

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Extremism in US Special Forces

I wanted to flag your attention to this NBC article about radicalization among current and retired US Special Forces personnel. NBC got access to private Facebook groups for these communities – again current and former. They had a lot of racist, far-right, QAnon type content. Not universal and not uncontested, but still a lot.

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Why Now on Manafort and Kilimnik?
Prime Membership Required

I want to recommend you read Josh Kovensky’s write up of yesterday’s Treasury Department statement about the 2016 Trump campaign’s direct tie to Russian intelligence. The Mueller report and the later Senate intelligence report were both unwilling or unable to determine whether Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik had passed the campaign information he received from Manafort to Russian intelligence. Treasury said he did. This is not a huge surprise since Kilimnik is widely reputed to be a Russian spy. And we should note that these are assertions listed in what amounts to a bill of particulars. They don’t explain what evidence underlies these claims. But this is the first time the US government has connected the pieces so clearly and categorically.

Why now?

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Where Things Stand: Fortunately, It’s Not Just The Insurrectionists
Prime Membership Required

While the Republican ringleaders of the Big Lie have seemingly fundraised in a big way following their efforts to overturn the results of the election, at least one Democrat is raking in substantial cash for doing, sort of, the opposite.

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The Uncanny Political Moment
Prime Membership Required

There’s a sizable batch of new polling out which shows that President Biden’s infrastructure plan is popular with a broad cross-section of the public. The popularity isn’t quite as overwhelming as it was for the American Rescue Plan. But by almost every standard in a polarized age the numbers are still overwhelming. A new poll sponsored by the Times shows 64% support. Democrats almost unanimously support it (97%). 72% of Independents support it. And even 29% of Republicans support it. The support is spread broadly across demographic groups and the individual components of the plan poll well too.

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A Key Detail from the Gaetz Timeline
Prime Membership Required

In recent days, most new details in the Matt Gaetz saga have been yet more nuggets of information from anonymous sources all of which add up to the same basic story: Gaetz appears to be in a lot of trouble, though whether sex with a minor will be part of an eventual indictment is not entirely clear. But there was one detail in a story published late Tuesday in Politico which adds a significant piece to the puzzle. One key question has been when Gaetz knew he was being investigated. The Politico story says federal executed a search warrant “this winter” in which they seized Gaetz’s iPhone. He changed his number in “late December.”

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| News

The audit that Arizona’s GOP Senate has ordered of the 2020 election in the state’s largest county will be partially bankrolled by private donations — including from a fundraising effort spearheaded by some of the loudest promoters of President Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.

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| News

When Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court in October 2020, the anti-abortion community celebrated the beginning of a new era. The Court would now be heavily skewed to the right, and its newest member had been open about her own beliefs. 

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| News

As the global pandemic required election officials to drastically rethink how voting would work in 2020, philanthropic groups stepped up and contributed millions of dollars that paid for much of the changes needed to election infrastructure. Officials have since said that that money — particularly in light of how Congress struggled to provide enough federal election funding — helped them thwart a pandemic voting fiasco. The charity grants covered everything from election equipment to temp workers to personal protective gear, and some local election offices saw their 2020 budgets doubled by the private funding they received. 

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| Prime

Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) handling of his quickly unfurling scandal, centered on a reported investigation into his possible sex trafficking of a minor, is reminiscent of another scandal-ridden politician: former President Trump.

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