The GOP’s Whitewashing Of Jan. 6 Is Now Complete

INSIDE: Mitch McConnell ... Clarence Thomas ... Scott Perry
Washington, DC - June 13 : Former President Donald Trump meets with Republican Senators at the National Republican Senatorial Committee building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 13, 2024. (Photo by... Washington, DC - June 13 : Former President Donald Trump meets with Republican Senators at the National Republican Senatorial Committee building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 13, 2024. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

Will We Never Learn?

Donald Trump’s return to the scene of the Jan. 6 attack that he instigated was a watershed moment in the whitewashing of his failed auto-coup.

Republicans in Congress, many of whom three years ago were running for their lives from the mob Trump unleashed, applauded and celebrated his return in ways that highlighted the party’s cultish, authoritarian turn. It marked a papering over of all the internal divisions and past animosities (which tend to arise when a president of your own party sends over to the Capitol a mob that is intent on hanging his own vice president) in order to rally together to win in November.

All of that is highly newsworthy, of historic significance even.

But the coverage … oh, the coverage.

The AP(!) tweeted this campaign-press-release-quality assessment of the day:

One Hill reporter couldn’t take it anymore:

Trump Sent Reporters On Multiple Goose Chases

Here were are in 2024, and reporters are falling for the same Trump distractions.

Behind closed door, Trump went on a racist rant against Milwaukee, which reporters spent the rest of the day trying to chase down, with lame denials, half-denials, and dodges by various attendees.

Trump randomly floated the idea of replacing income taxes with tariffs, which sent reporters scurrying off in another direction.

It’s not that you can’t cover these things, or shouldn’t cover these things, but how you do it and the self-awareness you bring to it matter … a lot.

How Cultish Was It?

It was so bad that it’s hard to capture.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) gushed like a schoolgirl that Trump was nice to her. Republicans gathered around Trump for photos like the old Soviet Politburo (see the lead photo above).

Aaron Rupar mashed it all together:

Mitch McConnell, Too

Forced to pick between power and principle, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stayed true to form.

After the Trump meeting, McConnell touted his handshake with Trump and the multiple standing ovations. “I can’t think of anything to tell you out of it that was negative,” he told reporters.

Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was having none of it:

Truth!

This is your main takeaway from yesterday:

🎶 Leaving On A Jet Plane 🎶

Senate Democrats’ subpoena of billionaire GOP donor Harlan Crow turned up three more previously unreported trips that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas took on Crow’s private jet — in 2017, 2019, and 2021.

Senate Republicans Kill Bill To Protect IVF

Senate Republicans scrambled all week to try to get out from under the gun on IVF, with many of them protesting that they were all for IVF while blocking a Democratic bill that would have protected access to it nationwide.

I know these messaging bills from Democrats can seem like weak tea, but I can’t emphasize enough how effective Republicans are at hoodwinking reporters into buying the latest canard they’re selling, which makes these messaging bills important in providing public clarity. But it requires a press willing to do its job and provide clarity, too. And that’s where things often fall apart.

Republicans want to have it both ways — pro-life! pro-Dobbs! pro-women! pro-fetal-personhood! pro-IVF! But those are inconsistent positions, and it’s up to reporters to sniff that out. It shouldn’t be hard!

Here’s a totally misleading headline from the NYT about the parallel effort by the Southern Baptist Convention to end IVF: How Baptists and the G.O.P. Took Different Paths on I.V.F.

The article buys hook and line and sinker the effort by some Republican elected officials to mollify voters that they’re not opposed to IVF — on the same day that Senate Republicans blocked a bill to protect IVF access.

The crux of the NYT piece on the SBC vote to oppose IVF: “The moment was especially striking given that after the Alabama ruling this year, Republican leaders quickly tried to signal to their base that they supported I.V.F., an extraordinarily popular procedure widely used by Christians and non-Christians alike.”

Yes, the Alabama Supreme Court decision on IVF sent some Republicans scrambling. But fetal personhood has been pushed by Republican legislators across the country for more than a decade. It already is law in some states, and the Alabama decision reinvigorated effort by abortion foes to go after IVF (as well as contraception, as we know).

Republicans are experiencing significant internal strains as the post-Dobbs world imposes real political costs on their long-held anti-abortion views, but it lets them off the hook entirely and takes the pressure off if dancing around the issue is equated with having come to IVF’s defense.

TPM’s Emine Yücel was on the Hill this week and witnessed first-hand GOP senators trying to pretend that IVF wasn’t under threat anywhere and that this was all Democratic fear-mongering. She debunks the notion that IVF isn’t under threat from Republicans across the country.

Even if that were true, the logic is still rather strained: I support IVF but I’m going to block a bill to protect it because all this Democratic fear-mongering needs to come to an end! What?

SCOTUS Lets Abortion Pill Access Continue

The Supreme Court unanimously declined to give abortion foes unprecedented new access to the federal courts and shot down their bid to block access to the abortion pill mifepristone, as TPM’s Kate Riga reports. The court found the anti-abortion plaintiffs lacked standing; finding otherwise would have dramatically rewritten the court’s jurisprudence on standing.

The mifepristone case is one of those that came up through the right-wing-friendly docket of the sole federal judge in Amarillo, Texas: Matthew Kacsmaryk.

Another Right-Wing Judge Doing The Anti-Trans Thing

Another go-to judge for right wing legal advocates has temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s new Title IX rules prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Terry Doughty, the chief judge of the Western District of Louisiana, ruled that Title IX “was written and intended to protect biological women from discrimination.”

“It is clear in the text of Title IX itself, and in the decades-long impact of Title IX, that its enactment was created to apply to two sexes. There is nothing in the text or history of Title IX indicating that the law was meant to apply to anyone other than biological men and/or women,” Doughty wrote in blocking the rule meant to protect transgender students.

While Conservatives Bemoan Liberal ‘Indoctrination’ …

Louisiana has become the sixth red state to allow controversial videos from “PragerU” into public schools.

Hmmm …

TPM’s Josh Kovensky: Men-Only, Christian-Only Secret Society Gets More Secret

Important

A Texas man has been arrested after threatening to kill a FBI agent working on the Hunter Biden case. To be clear, the threat came this week after Hunter Biden was convicted because the man didn’t think the FBI was doing enough to take down Hunter Biden.

The threats are chilling. Among them: “Did you … really think you were going to disenfranchise 75 million Americans and not die? Lol.”

An Interesting Glimpse Into The House GOP

House GOPers who are less-than-crazy are increasingly frustrated that Speaker Mike Johnson is rewarding the the crazies with plum assignments, like elevating Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), under investigation for his role in the 2020 election subversion effort, to the intel committee.

Yikes

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) is such a bad driver that it has “sparked an informal practice recently instituted in the office that aides should not be in the car when Fetterman is driving, according to one person familiar with the practice,” the WaPo reports.

Insurrectionists Recognize Insurrectionists

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Notable Replies

  1. Once again proving that there is absolutely no bottom for them. And as Josh Marshall described yesterday’s butt-kissing session, “Total North Korea vibe.”

  2. TPM’s Josh Kovensky: Men-Only, Christian-Only Secret Society Gets More Secret

    Some of us might call this a terrorist cell.

  3. Avatar for ajm ajm says:

    Thanks for the catastrophe frist post!

  4. Avatar for pshah pshah says:

    It’s not as if the insurrection on 1/6 isn’t on video. It’s recorded for eternity and the people whose lives were threatened and are now embracing and kissing the man who did that while trying - and failing - to destroy democracy and the Constitution will forever be shamed. Especially Mitch McConnell. History will record them as worse traitors, cowards, and unprincipled than even Trump.

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