A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.
The news will slow a bit this week as we celebrate Thanksgiving, but we are only weeks away from the beginning of the 2024 GOP presidential primary, which looks assured of anointing Donald Trump as his party’s standard bearer yet again.
You can hear his rising fascist rhetoric, the roar of his crowd when he calls for retribution against his perceived enemies, and his own exuberance as he casts aside any hint of restraint in favor of the most toxic attacks.
The upcoming primaries are heightening tensions, concentrating the calls for violence, and distilling Trumpism into its most corrosive form.
There’s no one defining story from the weekend, but you’ll see in the mix of news items below the dire stakes.
Judge Rules Trump Engaged In Insurrection, But …
A Colorado state judge ruled that Donald Trump may stay on the 2024 ballot, rebuffing efforts to disqualify him under the Constitution’s Disqualification Clause. But in doing so, she found that Trump had engaged in insurrection.
The judge read the Disqualification Clause as not applying to the presidency for two reasons: (i) The president is not an “officer of the United States,” as the clause requires; and (ii) The presidential oath of office only promises to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution, not “support” it, in the language of the clause.
As I hope is obvious, those are very technical, perhaps even cramped, readings of the Disqualification Clause that will give appeals court plenty to chew on.
Trump Loses Bid To Distance Himself From Jan. 6 Attack
In a feeble effort to try to disentangle his indictment over his 2020 election subversion effort from its most incendiary element, Donald Trump recently asked Judge Chutkan to strike those parts of the indictment which tied him to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Chutkan denied that request late last week in a brief, muted three-page order that said Trump failed to carry his burden.
Chutkan took only one light, parenthetical jab at Trump in the order: “Defendant’s sixteen-page Reply In Support of the Motion, despite making numerous inflammatory and unsupported accusations of its own … (“President Biden directed the Department of Justice to prosecute his leading opponent for the presidency through a calculated leak to the New York Times.”), devotes only a single paragraph to the prejudice requirement.”
Warning Warning Warning
Trump continues to engage in rhetoric like this:
The Danger Of Forgetting
Democrats might lose this twilight battle to drive Trump out of the body politic, and if they do, they’ll scour the devastation for the governing failure or political error that did them in. Was it inflation? Was it “wokeism”? Was it Biden’s age? But if it happened today, my money would be on this explanation: Their choices and emphases allowed the human process of forgetting to proceed as normal. And that in turn has allowed Trump to gain advantage, or narrow his disadvantage, on things like temperament and fitness for office that should be his defining liabilities.
Appeals Court Hears Trump Gag Order
The DC Court of Appeals has oral arguments scheduled for 9:30 a.m. ET today on the limited gag order imposed on Donald Trump by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in the Jan. 6 criminal case.
Fani Willis Seeks August 2024 Trial Date
Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis has formally asked the judge overseeing the sprawling RICO case to set the trial to begin in August 2024. She had already said that she expected the trial to drag into 2025.
Neo-Nazis March In Madison
A small group of neo-Nazis marched between the University of Wisconsin and the state capitol, stopping for a time in front of a local synagogue.
Global Right Scores Another Win
Usually comparisons of foreign leaders to America presidents are inapt and unenlightening, but when I was in Argentina earlier, this year like-minded Argentinians were in despair (a familiar emotion there) over the potential of electing their own Donald Trump in the form of Javier Milei. The similarities are striking, and Milei has now won the presidency.
The Abortion Fight Is Never Truly Over
Republican state officials in Ohio are already trying to find ways to undermine and weaken the newly passed constitutional amendment enshrining abortion rights.
A pastor who coordinates “faith-based” outreach for the Philadelphia chapter of Moms for Liberty is a registered sex offender.
Rosalynn Carter, 1927-2023
The former first lady died Sunday afternoon at age 96, thus ending her remarkable 77-year marriage to Jimmy Carter. When a long-lived marriage like theirs comes to an end, I have the urge to congratulate the surviving spouse on their accomplishment. It never seems quite appropriate to do so in the midst of loss and grief, but it is achievement in its own right, one to be celebrated and admired.
Back in 2002, Jimmy Carter offered a glimpse of the gratitude it takes to make a marriage like theirs work:
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