Josh Marshall

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Josh Marshall is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TPM.

This is Very Important Prime Badge

When Roe was overturned, it took with it a series of legal doctrines that undergirded other Court-mandated rights like the right to same sex marriage (Obergefell), to contraception (Griswold) and, less directly, the right to marry regardless of racial categories (Loving). Congressional Democrats have been pushing in recent days to pass new legislation to protect these rights by statute. For Democrats, it’s a win whatever the outcome. If Republicans block it in the Senate, as seems likely, it’s another issue to run on. If they don’t and it passes, great: a whole swath of Americans in jeopardy from the Court’s corruption get their rights confirmed by law.

This afternoon House Democrats brought a bill called the Respect for Marriage Act to a vote. But something unexpected happened.

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The List Is Taking Shape, Folks!

As I mentioned yesterday, we’re putting together a “Roe and Reform” list to find out where senators stand on passing a Roe law in January 2023 if Democrats hold the House and add two Senate seats. The key question is: do you clearly state your support for a Roe law and suspending the filibuster rules to give that law an up or down majority vote? For the purposes of this exercise we don’t care whether you want to “abolish” the filibuster or “reform” it or ditch it for some things and not others. Many of us have strong feelings about the damaging impact of the modern filibuster generally. But here we’re narrowly focused on this one question.

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Remember: It’s Always Democrats’ Fault Prime Badge

Sometimes there is an article built on such an Everest-like mountain of bullshit that it requires a specific, emergency takedown and rebuttal just to set everything right in the world. And thus here I am at your service. This morning Politico published this article: “Democrats boosted a MAGA longshot in the Pa. gov’s race. Now he’s got a real shot at winning.” It follows a storyline Republicans and even some Democrats are increasingly pushing on reporters nationwide: cynical Democrats who claim democracy is in danger are helping far right Trumpers win primaries and now a lot of those far right crazies are going to win. All thanks to Democrats! Here’s one GOP operative who jumped on the article shortly after it was published.

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Heads They Win, Tails We Lose Prime Badge

One of the notable things happening in the background of Dobbs decision shockwave is the furious effort of abortion rights opponents to play down the impact of the decision (odd when you’ve worked so long and hard) and explain why any efforts to reverse or overrule the decision are hopeless, insane, unconstitutional or just generally not worth thinking about.

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Some Miscellaneous Thoughts on The Current Moment

We are in one of those moments where we are awash in debates over the failures of “the Democratic Party.” (I’ll explain the scare quotes in a moment.) It’s a conversation I enter with great ambivalence. Most of my commentary over the last twenty-odd years has been about trying to push Democrats to take more aggressive and forward-looking strategies for building political power, political coalitions and so forth. Indeed, I’ve been doing that for the last few months through my “Roe and Reform” crusade. But a huge amount of this debate is advanced by people who see the success of rightwing candidates as prima facie evidence of the failure of Democrats.

From one perspective, this is true. In a binary political system, for one side to win the other has to lose. But at a deeper level a lot of these people don’t want to accept or grapple with the fact that a lot of Americans really want rightist authoritarian government. It’s not just that Democrats didn’t run good enough candidates, or didn’t get behind Medicare for All or didn’t say clearly enough that they weren’t for Defund the Police. Disappointment with Democrats not being more progressive didn’t lead voters to embrace the right. A lot of people really want rightist authoritarian government.

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The List is Coming, Folks Prime Badge

We’ve spent a few weeks now piecing through various senators’ answer to the Roe and Reform question: will you vote for a Roe law and suspend the filibuster rules to allow it to get an up or down majority vote? We’ve seen or gotten answers for a number of senators — particularly ones whose positions seemed genuinely uncertain: Feinstein, Casey, et al. But now we’re at the point where we need to zero in on just who is where and specifically who is standing in the way of 48 senators all being on the record in support.

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Senate Chances Improving

Part of me is reluctant to flag the coverage of publications I routinely criticize, particularly when their electoral politics coverage can be so egregious. But I do so here with Axios because it’s an example that even the insider sheets in DC are starting to take notice of the fact that Democrats holding the Senate or even possibly expanding their Senate majority is not some partisan pipe dream. It’s a very real possibility.

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Politics and Horror Stories Prime Badge

TPM Reader LM asked me why so many Republicans appear to be leaning into not only the abortion bans Dobbs made inevitable but also the horror story cases that are now coming to light. I thought other TPM readers might have the same question so I’m publishing LM’s question and my reply.

From TPM Reader LM

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More GOP Lies About Child Rape Story Collapse With Hours Prime Badge
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Todd Rokita, R-Ind., conducts a news conference at the RNC after a meeting of the House Republican Conference, February 7, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

This is getting worse and worse. My colleagues and I noted yesterday that Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita had threatened the doctor who treated the 10 year old rape victim from Ohio with investigation, loss of licensure and even imprisonment. This was another effort to shift the story after Republicans at first tried to claim the girl didn’t exist. Rokita suggested that the doctor, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, had failed to file mandated reports with the state about the abuse and the abortion. At least, Rokita claimed, he could find no evidence for any reports. Bernard is an “abortion activist acting as a doctor with a history of failing to report,” Rokita told Fox News on Wednesday. “We’re gathering the information, we’re gathering the evidence as we speak and we’re going to fight this to the end, including looking at [Bernard’s] licensure, if she failed to report. In Indiana it’s a crime for … to intentionally not report.”

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A Reader’s Lament Prime Badge

From TPM Reader DS

Just read your latest piece. I still think you are correct on the Codify Roe promise. But every single day that goes by without explicit promises, in living rooms and cars, the energy wanes. The right to abortion (and the right to privacy in general), affects many, many people. The actuality of it, on a day to day or week to week basis, doesn’t. 

I mean, think about it. The whole anti-choice movement was built on the idea that hundreds of thousands of women were just running around getting abortions every other week. It is kind of a classic Overton-window situation, right? A million abortions a day! Roe is overturned, now, it’s only a few thousand a day!! We have saved lives, and those who really need it still have some access!!

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