Editors’ Blog

Where Things Stand: Does DeSantis Want A Treat Or Something At This Point?
This is your TPM evening briefing.

Sure, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), go ahead and take home the trophy for passing the most outrageous/bizarre/problematic anti-education laws of all the red state governors in the land, if that’s the distinction you’re after.

At this point, it seems that’s the governor’s goal (coupled with the, seemingly, broader party aim to distract voters so completely with such non-serious non-existent issues that they don’t remember why they decided to support GOPers in the midterms in the first place).

The latest DeSantis culture war to get legislated into law in Florida: a sidetrack focus on communism.

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Primal Prime Badge

My post from last night has spurred some very intense responses. I don’t agree with them. In fact, they tend to confirm in my mind the points I was trying to make in my original post. But I thought I would share them with you to give a flavor of them and let you make up your own mind.

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Susan Collins called the cops to investigate “defacement of public property” after an unknown person wrote a message in chalk on the sidewalk near her home asking her to codify Roe.

Drop the Losers’ Logic Prime Badge

I’m seeing a lot of commentators saying the bill that Democrats propose to codify Roe will rapidly be rejected by this Supreme Court. If it’s not accompanied by Court expansion there’s no point. While I appreciate that these remarks are proffered in good faith and quite possibly accurate as predictions, it’s still losers’ logic.

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Thiel, Tech and the Hard Right Turn

Everything in our politics and society today seems stuck, hanging, thrusting forward in a foreboding moment of transition in which essentially nothing seems good but just where it’s all going isn’t at all clear. One of the big transitions is the shift of the tech world from its general indifference to politics in the first decade of the century, to a generally D-aligned engagement, to one that is increasingly but by no means universally aligned with the right and the hard right. In general many of us are accustomed to think of the tech high flyers as reflexively laissez-faire on economics while being cosmopolitan/libertarian on social issues. That latter stance isn’t liberalism, though it’s fairly close in the context of U.S. politics. This is changing rapidly, however, and I want to note some particulars about a development you may have heard about.

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A Big Fizzle

For weeks, analysts in the U.S. and across Europe speculated and worried that the May 9th Victory Day parade in Red Square would be Vladimir Putin’s moment to announce a dramatic escalation in his war against Ukraine or issue dire new threats against NATO and the U.S. for arming Ukraine. It’s been the focal point of anxiety, perceived danger, the platform for the next big thing. And yet it all happened today and almost literally nothing happened. They had the parade with the big ICBMs. Putin gave a speech. It was defiant, repeated the basic message we’ve been hearing for months — Ukraine is Nazis, it’s a replay of World War II, Russia’s fate is at stake. But that was it. No announcement of mobilization, no dire nuclear threats.

Of course, thank God, more or less. That’s good news. And yet it’s another dog in this crisis that hasn’t barked. Something’s got to give — either fold or escalate — and yet nothing does.

Dominoes Falling Prime Badge

Just to bring us up to speed on the events of the weekend, Republicans are galloping rapidly toward a national ban on abortion (entirely predicted and predictable) and state efforts to ban birth control in the expectation that those bans will be approved by Republican-heavy federal courts operating in a post-Roe legal environment.

Along those lines, I wanted to share these thoughts sent in last week from a highly knowledgable observer of the elite appellate legal world in Washington, D.C.

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A Bad Sign Prime Badge

Tom Friedman makes a lot of good points in this Friday opinion piece about Ukraine. My take on the current situation mostly matches his. But aside from all his warnings about the mounting dangers of the situation, it was one point, largely a factual and reported point rather than opinion, that grabbed my attention and concerned me greatly.

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About Those Press Leaks About US-Ukraine Intel Sharing Prime Badge

I want to chime in on these articles, which John Judis notes below, which have U.S. defense officials taking credit for providing intelligence to Ukraine that helped kill Russian generals and sink the ship Moskva. My take on it is somewhat different. But we agree inasmuch as making these comments seems very ill-advised and unhelpful.

A few points.

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The US is Making a Diplomatic Solution Difficult in Ukraine

Washington is abuzz over the question of who leaked the Supreme Court draft overturning Roe v. Wade. I am far more interested in who were the unnamed officials who boasted to The New York Times and Washington Post about the United States’ success in helping Ukraine kill Russian generals and sink that warship. These boasts are beyond impolitic.

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