It’s Time To Get Focused on a 2022 Election Pledge Prime Badge

Sens. Warren and Smith have an OpEd in the Times today in which they say at the bottom of a lengthy and quite good article …

Ask every Senate candidate to commit to reforming the filibuster rules, so that the chamber can pass federal legislation protecting the right to reproductive freedom. If voters help us maintain our control of the House and expand our majority in the Senate by at least two votes this November, we can make Roe the law all across the country as soon as January.

Great. But for any of this to happen you are going to need at least a few Senators to get the ball rolling. And getting the ball rolling means making a clear bumper sticker like pledge and goading colleagues to sign on. It has to be at the top of the article not at the bottom of a laundry list at the end.

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The Current Court is Sunk in Corruption, Just Like Fox News
White House/Supreme Court

The modern conservative judicial movement always had abortion and the reversal of Roe v Wade as its central empowering goal. Many intellectuals and activists had different political and goals. But those often esoteric and complex goals were never what powered the politics and the appointments. That was always abortion. When white evangelicals made their pact with the scofflaw libertine Trump, it wasn’t about “takings” or delegation or “originalism.” It was about abortion. So today represents a victory for the conservative judicial movement, later embodied in The Federalist Society, that was five decades in the making.

There are many observers who despise the results but yet still grant the legwork. There was a liberal Court that made all sorts of liberal decisions, the story goes. Conservatives didn’t like that. So they got organized and changed it. Liberals did it first and then conservatives did it.

But that story was never really quite right.

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Maybe There Will Be Coup Prosecutions Prime Badge
Giuliani, Powell

This and other articles are among the first I’ve seen that make me think there will be prosecutions of individuals involved in the attempted 2020 presidential election coup. This one is from the Post and reports a new round of subpoenas and what appear to be court-ordered searches of various individuals involved in the “fake elector” scheme. Let me note a couple points about that part of the coup conspiracy.

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Johnson is Beatable Prime Badge

Ron Johnson has managed to win two elections in Wisconsin – both of which were races Democrats were optimistic about winning. But this new poll number out of Wisconsin is pretty striking on a number of counts.

Here are the numbers.

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Why So Bashful? Prime Badge

One of the more interesting things to come out of the Jan. 6th hearings is the greater detail about the involvement of members of Congress. One detail yesterday was the involvement of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) in the fake electors plot. He somewhat lamely passed it off as the rogue behavior of an unnamed intern. Here’s one of several videos of Johnson yesterday rushing away from reporters trying to avoid questions.

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Tactical Prime Badge

Let me comment briefly on the TPM Reader responses below on the “tactical” lifestyle, Jan. 6th, mass shootings and more. Most of these have been in the vein of, “It’s not just the long wars, it’s this too.” And I think in every case I agree. No big historical development or reality pops up out of nowhere, unrooted to the particular historical era in which it arises.

It’s true as MF puts it that the millions of young American men who saw combat in World War II didn’t come back and spend years dressing up as GIs. In a way they didn’t have to as they returned to a society rapidly reorganized around the Cold War. It’s worth noting that the long-running abandoned POW activism emerging out of the Vietnam War was in many ways just that and it was a seedbed of late 20th century right wing activism. But certainly the mere existence of foreign conflicts didn’t “cause” the tactical firearms culture. A whole host of factors conditioned that reaction.

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Readers Respond, Tactical Degeneracy #4 Prime Badge

From TPM Reader JS

Just saw your take, via the wayback machine, regarding the “tactical” culture and Greitens’ ridiculous ad. One thing Busse left out in his Atlantic article and SS didn’t mention in his email is the impact the “Call of Duty” video game series has had on all of this. CoD is a first-person shooter game, which means you play the game from your character’s eye view – you literally feel like you’re in combat.

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Readers Respond, Tactical Degeneracy #3 Prime Badge

From TPM Reader FF

I would object to the notion of our deployments in the Middle East being the prime mover in guns moving to a tactical culture. Instead, I would look closer at investment firms like Citadel and Black Rock, whose participation in the weapons market was very much predicated on flooding the market with more and powerful weaponry to increase returns.

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Readers Respond, Tactical Degeneracy #2 Prime Badge

From TPM Reader JS

I am not an “everything is racism” guy. But from my perspective, “tacticool” is all about a fantasy these guys have that involves something like a Falling Down rampage where they shoot—most of the time—blacks.

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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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