Keep Your Eye On the Ball: A Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Is Not The Main Event

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) heads to a vote in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The spotlight on Sen. Manchin grew even brighter after declaring that he will vote against the Democrats voting rights bill, the For the People Act, in his op-ed that was published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail over the weekend. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) heads to a vote in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on June 8, 2021. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.

Good morning! I’ll be helming the Morning Memo for the next couple of weeks while Cristina Cabrera is out. Send me the things.

How Much Does It Really Matter?

Get ready for a week of sturm and drang over the the centrist pursuit of a bipartisan infrastructure deal in the Senate. But, remember, so long as Senate Democrats remain committed to folding the elements of a bipartisan plan into the giant reconciliation bill no matter what happens, the Holy Grail of a bipartisan agreement isn’t the main show in town.

  • The Senate comes back to DC with the path forward on a bipartisan infrastructure deal less clear than before.
  • It’s almost comical how quickly Senate Republicans retreated from beefed up IRS enforcement. Cuts a little too close to home?

Democracy Reform On The Back Burner

Must Democrats choose between democracy reform and the landmark piece of liberal legislation packaged as infrastructure? Is it okay for infrastructure to go first?

But ideally you do both! And if that is your intent, you can at least see the argument for making sure nothing derails the economic agenda. Just thinking ahead to all the wailing indignation it would elicit, it’s easy to imagine democracy reform wrecking the jobs-and-families legislation; by contrast it’s at least theoretically conceivable to imagine Dems passing democracy protection once Biden’s signature plans to rebuild the country are already law. I think democracy protection is the more important priority, but in a world where both are going to happen, I’m agnostic as to which should go first, and can at least see the argument for stacking things this way.

MAGA’s Sonny and Cher Kicked To The Curb

Quite a weekend for Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had three California venues bail at the last minute on hosting their “America First” Rallies.

  • Trending for all the wrong reasons:

  • Check out the scene:

What About The Big Fish?

TPM on TV!

TPM’s Josh Kovensky interviewed by CBS News after his big story on the deeply racist dimensions to Ashli Babbit’s martyrdom.

This Townie

Ron Klain gets the sneering Mark Leibovich treatment.

The Pandemic Of The Unvaccinated

The devastation in the heartland continues.

  • The Washington Post and The Atlantic each with stories on Springfield, Missouri’s struggles.
  • The New York Times and the AP each with stories on Arkansas’ suffering, with the wire service offering this sharp jab at Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is now barnstorming the state to encourage vaccinations:

Hutchinson has few tools left at his disposal after signing into law measures curbing his own authority to respond to the pandemic. They include bans on public schools and other government agencies mandating masks or requiring vaccinations.

  • This Charles Gaba chart was making the rounds this weekend:

  • In case there was any doubt, the former president’s discrediting of the vaccine – which he himself took and claims credit for developing – continues apace:

Joe Biden kept talking about how good of a job he’s doing on the distribution of the Vaccine that was developed by Operation Warp Speed or, quite simply, the Trump Administration. He’s not doing well at all. He’s way behind schedule, and people are refusing to take the Vaccine because they don’t trust his Administration, they don’t trust the Election results, and they certainly don’t trust the Fake News, which is refusing to tell the Truth.

The rest of the world continues to struggle with COVID’s devastation even without the MAGA overlay:

  • The Pandemic Has a New Epicenter: Indonesia”NYT
  • The long-feared possibility that the Covid-19 pandemic could disrupt the Tokyo Olympics is rapidly emerging as a reality…”–WSJ

He’s Running?

NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof considering running for governor of Oregon.

Must Read

“Private Israeli spyware used to hack cellphones of journalists, activists worldwide”–Washington Post

‘A Special Sadness’

Twelve disabled residents of a group home in Germany drowned in last week’s floodwaters.

What Level of Hell Is This?

Realpolitik collides with reality TV:

Early on in the Trump administration, Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former co-star on “The Apprentice” and new adviser to the president, began pressing Mr. Trump and his aides to engage with Haiti and support Mr. Moïse.


Are there things that are happening that you want to see in tomorrow’s Morning Memo? Send us the things.

Latest Morning Memo

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for bdtex bdtex says:

    I think we all knew/know that any bipartisan infrastructure bill is unlikely. As soon as the deal was announced, GOPs started taking heat from the MAGAts. The budget reconciliation bill is the BFD.

  2. Note to Dems- bipartisanship has been an ugly word for the Right for a long time. While you can expect Republicans to negotiate to get what they want, do not expect them to vote for it. Try this-negotiate with them, but have a back-up bill that includes only what Dems want, so when the negotiated bill gets announced, and McConnell signals Republicans won’t vote for it, throw the Dem-only plan on the table. Yes, Manchin will scream “what about bipartisanship”, but so fucking what.

  3. OT

  4. I get all the concern over the unvaccinated spreading and strengthening the COVID variants rearing their ugly heads. And there is the issue of children still not eligible to get the vaccine beneath a certain age. But in the grand scheme of things isn’t it in the long term interest of the nation for these people that cling to their anti-vaxx idiocy to die off? What is wrong with wingnuts in Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and elsewhere expiring in mass numbers?

  5. On the other hand, the Netherlands has had a 500% increase of cases. They lifted restrictions a few weeks ago. Soon after they had a massive rock concert. A week later they had over 2000 cases from that event alone.

    Now imagine this, the Dutch are a smart and prudent people. Now imagine America where too many are not. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

    I want our border with you kept closed.

Continue the discussion at

136 more replies


Avatar for bdtex Avatar for steviedee111 Avatar for teenlaqueefa Avatar for becca656 Avatar for callmeeric Avatar for psudawnc Avatar for lastroth Avatar for darcy Avatar for leftcoaster Avatar for mrf Avatar for darrtown Avatar for thunderclapnewman Avatar for tena Avatar for dommyluc Avatar for castor_troy Avatar for justruss Avatar for kenga Avatar for txlawyer Avatar for zenicetus Avatar for garrybee Avatar for keesboterbloem Avatar for Hatmama Avatar for HBryan Avatar for LeeHarveyGriswold

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: