Editors’ Blog

Readers Respond, Tactical Degeneracy #1 Prime Badge

From TPM Reader MF

Ryan Busse, former firearms industry exec, is definitely distorting his recollection of the industry 25 years ago. Once Wayne LaPierre became NRA president in 1991, and especially after Waco in 1993, the right-wing/tactical/AR-15 culture took off. The 1994 Clinton crime bill mobilized this politically. I know, I was in Congress answering a flood of constituent mail.

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The ‘Tactical’ Gun Degeneracy Prime Badge

Eric Greitens is a predator and a degenerate. We knew that and today’s ad showing him launching commando raids to murder or “hunt” RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) only cements that reputation. But his ad — of a piece with the Jan. 6th insurrection and mass shootings across the United States — is part of a much longer trajectory. While I was familiar with the different parts of the story I only really came to understand it when I read this email from TPM Reader SS ten years ago (yes, back in 2012, days after the Newtown massacre).

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Important Stuff, Truly Must-See

I mentioned a few days ago that the most compelling part of the Jan 6 committee hearings so far for me has been the description of the particulars of how the breach of the Capitol complex happened. The story is usually presented as something like this. There was a big group of angry and potentially violent Trumpers. There was a much smaller group, maybe as few as a few dozens of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers with a more focused ideology, a clearer plan of the insurrection and so forth. They were both more eager to get violent and had a lot more experience getting violent. But they were in the extreme minority of the people up there. So even though they’re now the ones facing serious charges including seditious conspiracy they are only a small part of what happened.

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Super Close

We are getting really close to closing the first week of the TPM Journalism Fund drive at $125,000. That will be more than half way to our goal of $200,000. Can you help us close the week strong? Just click right here. We’re super close.

Must See

Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia Secretary of State who Trump threatened and demanded “find” 11,000 votes is going to testify before the Jan 6th committee on Tuesday.

Two Sides Now

TPM alum Greg Sargent has a column up at the Post looking at the work of experts in the field of democratic breakdown. Not collapse — that’s a bit different. We hear a lot of predictions about a coming U.S. civil war. But if the analog is the civil war of the 1860s that’s never been realistic. If nothing else the political geography doesn’t work. This would rather be an era of chronic political violence and instability: with episodes of paramilitary violence often egged on by elected leaders, assassinations, bombings, political crises, claimed stolen elections and actual stolen elections.

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Let’s Close the Week Strong

You’ve gotten us off to a solid first week of our TPM Journalism Fund drive. We’re hoping to get to the $125,000 milestone by the end of today. That’s 5/8 of the way toward our goal. This drive is really important for TPM and, as I’ve said, if you’re already a member it’s just a single click. Super easy. If you’ve been planning on contributing or considering it, please make today the day. Just take a moment right now. Like this actual moment and click right here. As I said, it’s just one click. Super easy.

We truly appreciate it.

The Curious Jan 6 Moonwalk of ‘Team Normal’

There he was, on tape if not in person: Bill Stepien, the very campaign manager of Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, explaining calmly and matter of factly that President Trump lost, he and the candidate knew he had lost and every conspiracy theory and false claim and desperate attempt to stay in power was in the words of Bill Barr, bullshit. It wasn’t even begrudging nor presented as an admission. Just matter of fact.

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Very Interesting Prime Badge

I’m not sure I agree with all of this. But TPM Reader JB captures an important part of what’s happening in these hearings.

Politically, the best thing about hearings is the optics.   So important.

Dems are in charge.  They sit on high and Trumpers come before them, either in person or video, and are asked to explain their behavior in public. 

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Where Things Stand: Ginni Is Down To Chat
This is your TPM evening briefing.

It may have gotten lost in the whirlwind of our live coverage of today’s third Jan. 6 committee hearing, so I wanted to make a quick note to bring it to your attention: Ginni Thomas told the Daily Caller this afternoon that she was willing to talk to the Jan. 6 select committee — and the committee quickly sought to take her up on that offer.

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