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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

So, people. I’m going to be heading out for a bit. I’ll probably post my last post sometime this afternoon. I need some time off – to relax, recharge, spend as much time off the grid as I’m capable of. It’s been a grueling period. So I’m eager to disappear into my books, recharge and get ready for the next things. Our team will keep you up to speed on all the critical stories in my absence. I’ve invited Jeet Heer to take up my duties in the Editor’s Blog while I’m away.

Many of you likely know Jeet from his prolific Twitter account and work at The New Republic. If you’re not familiar with him you can listen to this podcast discussion we had back in December.

Have a great week.

In response to this post of mine on Beto O’Rourke from March 14th, Marc Hetherington wrote this response. Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler are the authors of this ground-breaking study, Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics.

You might not be thinking about Beto’s potential base of support the right way. Those of us who follow politics closely always tend to think about the world in terms of ideology. But decades of research in political science suggests that most Americans do not think in ideological terms.

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I don’t know how many of you saw it. But over the weekend Beto O’Rourke got asked about his first day fundraising haul and said something to effect that he declined to give exact numbers. That certainly made it sound like he’d come up significantly short. Hard to see how this wasn’t a clever way to lower expectations ahead of today’s eye-popping announcement. He raised more than any other Democratic presidential candidate on their first day, which is certainly impressive.

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This Washington Post oped by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) addresses a number of foreign policy topics. But the most detailed portion is about Israel-Palestine. It is actually a quite conventional and strong statement of the center-left two-state approach. It’s one I support and a great number of American Jews do as well. Whether it’s a majority or not really gets down to a level of detail she doesn’t address. But that’s really not the point. Read it through and you can see it is a very carefully considered and worded take, addressing a number of different audiences at once.

Here’s an opinion piece by the two NYU students who accosted Chelsea Clinton at that Christchurch massacre vigil and denounced her as part of the hate that had spurred the attack. This is because she tweeted criticism of Ilhan Omar during the original “benjamins” controversy more than a month ago. (Here’s what I wrote in response to that original flare-up. A month later I wrote this.)

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In case you missed it yesterday, be sure to read our look at ties between that South Florida massage parlor baron and the Chinese government.

I felt it was important to transcribe President Trump’s exact words in which he dismisses the problem of “white nationalism” and suggests it’s unclear whether the Christchurch gunman is even part of the white nationalist or supremacist movement.

REPORTER: “Do you see today white nationalism as a rising threat around the world?”

TRUMP: “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. I guess if you look at what happened in New Zealand perhaps that’s the case. I don’t know enough about it yet. They’re just learning about the person and the people involved. But it’s certainly a terrible thing, a terrible thing.”

Video of this exchange after the jump.

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Really quite remarkable. We’ve now seen the first portion of the President’s comments. He gave a generic condemnation of the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand and then proceeded to give a meandering speech about foreign “invasion”, i.e., immigrants “rushing our border”, calling them “murderers and killers”. In other words, moments after denouncing the massacre he went on with a lie-laden screed much of which was indistinguishable from the attacker’s manifesto.

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We should note we’re back to the standard Trump dance in which he needs to be dragged kicking and screaming to call what happened in New Zealand “terrorism” as opposed to just some senseless, unfortunate thing. A short time ago Mercedes Schlapp, White House Director of Strategic Communications, went on Fox to insist that Trump had privately called the incident an “act of terror” even if he wouldn’t do so publicly. “I just spoke with the President, he made it very clear this is an act of terror.”

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I read through the Christchurch gunman’s manifesto. It is, in so many words, 75 pages of “Great Replacement” ideology.

Most of the first half or so is rambling and looks written quickly. It includes a faux Q&A with himself, explaining his background, motivations, aims. Along the way there are a few jokes, a number of allusions to racist internet memes and even quotes.

The first half has a casual, rushed quality. The second half almost reads like it’s written by a different person. The writing is tighter and more portentous. It reads kind of like a “Great Replacement” version of Mao’s Little Red Book. It’s made up of single page sections, with text usually a paragraph or two long, aphoristic, each with an explanatory headline repeated at the end for effect. Perhaps relatedly he says that the People’s Republic of China is his ideal among modern nation states and the closest to his political and social values.

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