Editors’ Blog

The Campaign Is Upon Us Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

If you’ve been watching Donald Trump since he left the White House, there’s nothing new under the sun. Over the course of his presidency Trump was consistently horrible. But he got more experience in how to make good on his desires and impulses over the course of his presidency. That culminated in the events of January 6th 2021. The progression has continued out of office with every new addition of legal peril stoking a more adamant demand for revenge. Unlike in his first term, there are now a stable of Trump organizations and think tanks preparing not so much to put his plans into effect as to devise plans and policies that map on to his inchoate impulses and targets for retribution. What was latent in his rhetoric and threats is now explicit. Staid MSM publications have now dared to use the F-word — “fascist” — to describe his rhetoric.

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Henry Kissinger’s Deviousness Recalled

In the remembrances of Henry Kissinger, much has been made of his deviousness.  I discovered evidence of this quality of his when I was researching a biography of William F. Buckley, Jr.  I discovered in Buckley’s papers at Yale a note Buckley had sent Kissinger, who was Gerald Ford’s Secretary of State, on May 18, 1976, the day of the Republican primary between Ford and Ronald Reagan.  Buckley was responding in his note to advice to Reagan that Kissinger seems to have offered in a telephone call between Buckley and Kissinger:

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Listen To This: Santoast

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is live! This week, Josh and Kate bid a fond farewell to George Santos (and Kevin McCarthy!).

You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.

Calls Grow for Threesoming MAGA Star School Board Member to Resign

Tom Edwards, a member of the Sarasota County School Board, has called on fellow board member Bridget Ziegler to resign. There have already been a flood of calls for Ziegler’s husband Christian to resign as chairman of the state Republican party. But Christian Ziegler is the focus of a criminal investigation into whether he raped an as yet unnamed woman. Bridget Ziegler has not been accused of any crime. Her role in the scandal engulfing the couple is tied to her being an anti-gay, anti-trans crusader who had sex at least once with another woman, in a threesome with her husband. So hypocrisy, basically.

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Israeli War Cabinet Member’s Son Killed in Gaza Combat

The number of Israeli military fatalities has been relatively low since October 7th. But just moments ago the IDF announced that Gal Eizenkot, son of war cabinet member Gadi Eizenkot, was killed today in Gaza. The elder Eizenkot is a former IDF Chief of Staff and the second ranking member of the opposition National Unity party headed by Benny Gantz, another former Chief of Staff. National Unity entered the current Israeli coalition government days after October 7th. And both Gantz and Eizenkot are members of the small war cabinet which is directing the war.

A Few Concluding Thoughts

We knew going into this debate that the Republican presidential primaries are not real. Trump is the Republican nominee. I do think though that if Chris Christie had been the Chris Christie who showed up about half the time in this debate that would have been significant. He would have consolidated the admittedly very small Never Trump group within the GOP. That doesn’t matter a lot. But he would have raised some doubts among Republicans about what Trump’s first term was actually like and also forced more conversation about what Trump is promising in a second term. That would have been significant. It would have forced more stuff into the public conversation. It would have forced the other Republican candidates to address Trump’s craziness more clearly. It wouldn’t have defeated Trump. But it would have made a difference by breaking the GOP code of silence about Trump.

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Debate Blogging #2

9:10 PM: I think Christie managed to connect there. He’s breaking through on the fakeness of the whole primary campaign and unwillingness of any of these people to attack Trump. He basically made smoke come out of DeSantis’s ears. But DeSantis is already roadkill. So hard to say how much it matters.

9:01 PM: “Europe is committing suicide” with immigration. Basically right out of the Great Replacement playbook.

Glory & Doom … Only One Can Be Second (Live Blogging)

8:44 PM: I haven’t seen any time counts but it seems like Chris Christie has spoken dramatically less than the other three. Just doesn’t have it in him. No fight. Had a couple sharp moments with Ramaswamy. But just flat.

8:31 PM: Kate and I will definitely do an instapod tonight if Christie and Haley murder Vivek live on stage.

8:30 PM: Christie already seems to be done attacking Donald Trump.

8:28 PM: Let’s just note that Haley seems to have floated the conspiracy that Iran launched the massacres in southern Israel to help Russia in Ukraine, and also Putin’s birthday! Weird.

8:25 PM: That’s the first time Christie has really done what he promised he’d do at the start of his campaign: take the argument to Trump. But it seems like he might already be done attacking Trump. Doesn’t seem to have the fight in him anymore.

8:15 PM: I’ve basically made my career covering stupid. But this kind of has me defeated 15 minutes in.

8:08 PM: Just being reminded of the fact that these four are the best the GOP could get up on this stage. It’s pretty remarkable.

8:05 PM: Not sure the 2022 collapse is a big applause line in a GOP debate?

8:04 PM: DeSantis has that weird hands down, dominated dog stance. Weird.

8:03 PM: The only thing of any consequence is whether any of these folks really try to take the fight to Trump.

7:55 PM: Let’s do this.

Debate Tonight

We can’t promise you it will mean anything. But we promise to make tonight’s fourth GOP debate entertaining. Join us for our live coverage!

Speaker Johnson Called J6 Rioters Shameful “Criminals” Before Protecting Them from DOJ Prime Badge
 Member Newsletter

Eager to maintain the support of the far right of the House GOP caucus Speaker Mike Johnson recently ordered the release of internal House footage of the various rioters who stormed the Capitol complex on January 6th 2021 in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. But his transparency train hit a speed bump when he decided to blur the faces of the rioters and criminals who stormed the capitol in order to prevent their being, in Johnson’s words, “retaliated against and charged by the DOJ and have other concerns and problems.”

So Johnson says quite clearly and publicly that his office is obscuring the faces of Jan. 6th rioters in order to prevent law enforcement from holding them accountable for their crimes.

But Johnson wasn’t always so pro-January 6th rioter, or at least he hasn’t been consistently. He called the feral Trumpers who stormed the capitol shameless criminals, in fact.

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