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If you weren’t able to yesterday I hope you’ll take a moment to read Kate Riga’s piece on the abortion referendum in Kansas and Nicole Lafond’s rundown of high levels of opposition to the Dobbs ruling even in very red states. A few years ago the Supreme Court of Kansas ruled that the state constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion. State Republicans got a constitutional amendment overruling that decision on the ballot on what should be low turnout election day in August. That’s about a month away. But with the Dobbs ruling still resounding around the country, it’s not clear that referendum will win. It’s got a good shot. It’s a very red state. Opposition to abortion runs much higher there than the national average. But in states like Kansas it’s still generally 50-50. It could go down to defeat. It gets to a broader issue. Even in red states, the Court’s ruling is not very popular. Often 50-50 even in fairly red states.


Frustrated? Join the Club? 

One sentence in a post from earlier this afternoon really set off a firestorm in your emails. I’m going to print a selection of them later. For now, let me explain or clarify. As is so often the case, I think this is at least in part that so-common thing in political arguments: two sides tossing the same slogan back and forth and basically talking past each other because they are interpreting it as meaning different things. This is about “just vote” as some kind of generalized slogan and those who say that they’ve voted enough, voting hasn’t worked, it’s not a good enough answer, etc.

From your emails it’s clear that many of you interpret this phrase as “all you need to do is vote,” or “don’t ask questions, just vote,” or “don’t do anything else but vote.” I don’t know why anyone interprets this that way. But then again, it’s not something I tell anyone in the first place. I’m hardly someone who says, “just take the party leadership’s word for it” or “go with whatever strategy or lack of strategy they propose” since I’ve dedicated my writing at TPM for the last couple months to arguing that the White House and congressional leadership are making a category error in how they are approaching Roe and the midterm election and that it will require ordinary voters and activists to force their hand to follow a better strategy.

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Where Things Stand: Even In States Scrambling To Ban Abortion, A Majority Don’t Agree With SCOTUS

This is your TPM evening briefing.

The results of Pew Research Center’s first poll on abortion since Roe was overturned came out today, revealing, unsurprisingly, that the majority of Americans do not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to tear down the landmark case, which found abortion to be a constitutional right in the U.S. nearly 50 years ago.

The percentage of Americans who don’t support the death of Roe hasn’t shifted much since Pew conducted its last poll on the issue — 62 percent, overall, said abortion should be legal in most or all cases.

But interestingly, a slim majority disagree with the Supreme Court even in the states that have outlawed abortion in recent days and in states where lawmakers are scrambling to pass new restrictions and bans in the wake of Roe’s demise.

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Feinstein’s Clearly a Problem 

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

From the moment Justice Alito’s draft decision leaked in early May (and really much earlier) it’s been clear that the only path to restoring Roe‘s protections was to elect two more senators to pass a Roe bill and change the filibuster rules to allow an up or down vote. The current leadership on the Hill simply doesn’t grasp the necessity of firm pledges from all 48 Democratic senators besides Manchin and Sinema. 48 pledges are there. But as we’ve discussed a few will require some real pressure. That’s why getting all the other pledges banked is so key. Then you can narrow the pressure down on any hold outs.

From the outset I’ve figured that high on the list of potential foot-draggers are Sens. Feinstein, Casey and King.

Today I want to talk about Sen. Feinstein, because we’ve got some new information on that front.

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Readers on “Just Vote” #2 

From TPM Reader LE

I’ve been thinking about this too, the ongoing, tiresome noise from those frustrated that Democratic leadership and politicos don’t have a magic bullet to fix everything. Take Roe, for example. Some on the left are upset, claiming Democrats and the party have done nothing over the years to protect reproductive freedom and other rights and liberties by, for example, ginning up interest in voting Democratic and for candidates who will protect those rights. But is their claim true? Seems to me the alarm has been sounded for years, just not with the volume and persistence that Republicans deploy to keep their base riled up and ready to fall in line.


Readers on “Just Vote” #1 

From TPM Reader ES

I don’t think it is only “left-wing wreckers trying to break things” who are feeling growing frustration with the Democratic party. There is opportunity cost when the Democratic party leads the opposition – they take space, they demobilize other efforts by the implicit or explicit “trust us” logic of vote us in again, etc. And their response to the clear and systematic dismantling of norms and laws since Gore’s acquiescence, through failure to hold anyone accountable for the Great Crash of 08-09, to the denial of Garland’s nomination, up through the expanding Koch-envisioned and Tea Party / Trumpian grassroots fueled widening institutional erosion and now full, brazen takeover of the Supreme Court…has been astoundingly… small, tepid, narrow. 



“At the same time, many are already voicing frustration with the Democratic nostrum ‘go vote’ when the party already controls Congress and the White House.” This is a sentence from an article TPM Reader EH sent me about Tim Ryan’s Senate campaign in Ohio, basically the very narrow path he has to tread to have a chance with Ohio’s increasingly Republican fundamentals. It’s from the Ohio Capital Journal. But I wanted to highlight this single sentence because it captures a good bit of what we discussed here yesterday, at once a sign of ignorance and bad faith and also simply a reality Democrats need to confront whatever mix of ignorance or bad faith is behind it in the given case.


Thank You So Much!

You did it.

As you can see by the tracker below, at some point yesterday we hit our $200,000 goal for this year’s TPM Journalism Fund drive. We are all pretty pumped here at TPM. Happy. Relieved. Energized. This is the first of many “thank yous” you’re going to be hearing from us over the next few days.

As I said in one post during the drive I was skeptical that we’d be able to reach this goal. Or perhaps equivocal. Uncertain? I thought it would be a real challenge, even though that was really the minimum to put everything in a good place. It’s daunting to put the number out there, with a counter and everything. What if you don’t get there? And it’s out there in public for everyone to see! In the event we hit our goal in about three weeks. Which is amazing. Just shy of 2,500 TPM Readers (2,477) contributed. We really appreciate your generosity and your faith in our operation.

You can of course still contribute. But we’re closing the curtains on the hard sell phase of this year’s effort. Truly, we really appreciate it.

More to come!


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Hmm Wonder Which Justices Would Possibly Do That? Peggy Nienaber, an executive director at evangelical organization Liberty Counsel, was caught on a hot mic claiming that some justices “will pray with us, those that like us to pray with them,” and that “we’re the only people who do that.”

  • Nienaber’s comments were made last week during a celebration evangelicals were holding in front of the Supreme Court over its dismantling of Roe v. Wade.
  • Not only does Liberty Counsel frequently bring cases in front of SCOTUS, the conservative justices actually cited its amicus brief while striking down Roe. Which is probably why Nienaber insisted that her comments be “totally off the record.” Oops.

Thems The Breaks! Hemorrhaging ministers amid ceaseless scandals, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally announced his resignation after defiantly poo-pooing calls to do so. He stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party but will try to remain as prime minister until a successor is chosen.


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SCOTUS Will Hear Case Next Term That Could Transform Election Law

After knee-capping the federal government’s ability to address greenhouse gases and other national regulatory issues Thursday, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a case next term that could effectively eliminate the role of state courts and dramatically increase the power of state legislatures in questions of federal election law, a potentially huge win for the right in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2020 election theft attempt. 

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