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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

From TPM Reader DE

As an El Pasoan, I’m having trouble articulating why this particular shooting is so infuriating, so worrying. I’ll start with the shooter being from Plano (Dallas Fort Worth area)

It’s not a trivial thing. That drive is 8 hours and 59 minutes long.

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It is a sign of the dark state of the country that we now have to distinguish between different categories of mass shooting – ones based, as nearly as we can figure, on a kind of inchoate suicidal rage, others based more clearly on ideology (whether white supremacist, incel-based or Islamist) and some based on personal and individual grudges. But in every case we have the power of the gun.

Guns are powerful in themselves. They shoot high velocity projectiles quickly and easily. Modern ones can kill large numbers rapidly. The shooter in Dayton, Ohio was himself shot dead less than a minute after he opened fire but managed to kill nine people and wound a couple dozen others. But part of the gun massacre spectacle is tied to a different sort of power.

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This last weekend’s brutal reckoning brings me back to a transcript that was published in 2016 of a presentation Steve Bannon did at a Vatican conference in 2014. But before that a bit of scene setting. Over recent weeks, in various contexts, President Trump has been pumping up his racist and xenophobic incitement, aimed at people of color generally, the US southern border specifically and often mixing the two together. This morning he appeared at the White House with this brief statement in which he called on the country to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy” much as any other President might have done and many have done without grappling with the fact that he is the biggest and certainly the most high volume promoter of all three in the country.

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Here’s one critical data point I want to direct your intention to. Natalie Martinez, a researcher at Media Matters, flagged yesterday that since May 2018 President Trump’s reelection campaign has run roughly 2,200 Facebook ads using the word “invasion.” Unsurprisingly, a quick perusal suggests they’re all about immigration — namely, a Mexican and/or South American “invasion” of the United States which can only be prevented by President Trump and his wall.

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We decided to put this piece together last week, before the events of this past weekend. At this point I don’t even remember which particular arrest or attack or threat it was in response to. It’s a list of two dozen planned or completed violent attacks — ranging from unsuccessful efforts to simple assaults to multiple murders. It does not even include various racist or xenophobic “great replacement” attacks which didn’t name check the President but echo his campaign message and various Twitter screeds. Take a look.

“President Trump looks forward to visiting with the patriots of Texas who are on the front lines of the struggle against open-border Democrats who allow drugs, crime, and sex trafficking all along our border every day.”

—Trump campaign COO Michael Glassner,
in advance of a Trump rally in El Paso,
February 2019.

I understand and respect those who say we shouldn’t publish these mass murderers’ names and report their manifestos. Indeed, there are limited ways in which this impulse may be salutary — less above-the-fold use of their picture and perhaps more secondary use of their given names. But this impulse, while well-meaning, is actually dangerous and misguided.

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Authorities are still sorting out the background of the gunman in this horrific far-right terror attack in El Paso, Texas. But he appears to have left a “manifesto” and a lengthy social media trail. Assuming these identifications are correct, they portray a sadly familiar “great-replacement” theory, white-supremacist radical.

What is particularly notable in this case is the intermingling and co-evolution of these manifestos with more mainstream right-wing media dialog.

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From TPM Reader JS

Thank you for an interesting take on Obama’s legacy. I’m a 50yo straight white married male, lifelong Dem (’96 Nader supporter even) and I work in technology. I’m a Seattle native, lived in Denver the past 15 years, just moved to Raleigh for work two years ago. There, my demo is firmly planted.

Obama is to me what Reagan is to a lot of Boomer Republicans, in other words, the best. His policies/accomplishments aren’t necessarily even the main thing. Rather, Obama is the template of the ideal person/Democrat I want leading the country. Intelligent, authentic, empathetic, decisive.

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From TPM Reader TC

I’d be very surprised if you haven’t heard much of what I am going to say here from others, but as long as you’re bringing up viewpoints of those who don’t think the Obama Administration was the greatest thing since sliced bread, I’ll bring up my points.

My views are informed by six years spent working for Willie Brown in Sacramento, the best Speaker of a State Assembly anywhere ever, a man who understood the operation of politics so well he could run rings around the opposition and they didn’t even realize he was (If Kamal Harris did learn anything from him when she dated him, then there’s where she got whatever political smarts she has). He learned all that from Jesse Unruh, the inventor of the modern state legislature, who I was fortunate to know after he came back as State Treasurer, and I got to listen to some of his late night political reminiscing in the evenings at Frank Fat’s. Those two guys were a post-doctoral intensive in how politics is operated.

I was a huge supporter of Obama from the get-go.

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