Josh Marshall

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

On the Ground in Georgia

TPM Reader SB checks in from Georgia …

In Georgia, we’re not seeing much “Roe and Reform” talk from Sen. Warnock (he supports that path, it’s just not an integral part of his stump speeches). We are, however, seeing a big push from the Democratic AG candidate Jen Jordan that she’ll challenge the constitutionality of Georgia’s newly enacted heartbeat bill (SB 481) if she’s elected. Here’s a clip of her talking about that. Her line “If Alito wants to bring it back to the states, I say bring it” is resonating with Georgia Democrats.

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Adventures in the Archeology of Time Prime Badge

Months after my father died unexpectedly in 2006 I had most of his belongings shipped to me in New York where I had them delivered to a storage unit several blocks from my home. Most of my father’s possessions, at least the ones that mattered most to me, were his archive of tens of thousands of photographs and his collection of cameras, the ones he used — SLRs, TLRs and various large format cameras — as well as a large collection of antique cameras. I went to check on everything shortly after it was delivered. There it was, in standard moving boxes, packed into a 5 by 10 foot space. I took a few albums of photos and left the rest there for 15 years.

Until last week.

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You Be You Prime Badge

The modern GOP’s sheer level of political cynicism is simply remarkable. I noted this morning that in retaliation for Dems outwitting Mitch McConnell with their climate bill, House Republicans voted against the semiconductors bill most of them actually support. In the event, 24 House Republicans bucked their leadership and voted for the bill. All Democrats voted for the bill save for one who voted “present.” Now we hear from Susan Collins that Dems’ legislative coup now likely means Republicans won’t allow a vote on the bill to protect same sex marriage rights. “I just think the timing could not have been worse and it came totally out of the blue,” Collins HuffPost, explaining that it will now be much harder for her and other GOP moderates to secure GOP votes.

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Nota Bene: 7.28.22 Prime Badge

New congressional generic ballot poll: Suffolk, D-44%, R-40%. Meanwhile, the 538 average of these polls is now R+.02.


In case you didn’t notice I wanted to draw your attention to one thing. While Senator Schumer and the White House were trying to revive some skinny version of the BBB and climate legislation with Joe Manchin, Senator McConnell tried to scuttle those talks with a threat. He would pull GOP support from the China competition/CHIPs bill if the Democrats did not drop those negotiations. As it happened, Manchin scuttled the deal so the threat became moot. Then the CHIPs bill passed the Senate yesterday and then within like an hour — voila — the Manchin deal was back and somehow finalized. Senate Republicans were clearly pissed but the bill had already passed the Senate.

It certainly seems like Senate Democrats pulled a fast one on their Republican colleagues. As surprising as it may seem, it’s hard to see how Manchin wasn’t in on it at some level. House Republicans certainly seem to think so. They’ve now switched to whipping members to vote against the bill. Notwithstanding the fact that it actually has broad bipartisan support, as well as strong support from the semiconductor industry and the foreign policy and national security community. But the House isn’t the Senate. Democrats don’t need Republicans to break a filibuster. They probably don’t need Republicans at all. The question is whether enough House progressives will take the lead of Senator Bernie Sanders and vote against the bill as a giveaway to corporate America. But the administration seems to have members of the House Progressive Caucus broadly on board. Adding to the complexity and the fun, voting against the bill probably represents an electoral liability for Republicans in a number of key districts.

Numbers Prime Badge

New Georgia Senate poll out this morning from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Warnock 46%, Walker 43%. This is in line with other recent polls which show a modest but consistent Warnock lead. Meanwhile, three new congressional generic polls have come out over the last 24 hours, two of which give the Democrats a six point advantage and one of which gives a 4 point margin. One of those 6 point margins is actually a Republican Party poll. Why they chose to release it I’m really not sure.

Various other midterm metrics continue to move slowly but perceptibly in Democrats’ direction. As we’ve discussed at various points over the last few weeks, the House especially is still very much an uphill battle for Democrats. But this trend makes me think Democrats holding the House in November is definitely possible and getting more likely. Not remotely a lost cause.

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The Filibuster Is a Direct Threat to American Democracy Prime Badge
It's not just about helping Democrats or making particular legislation possible. The filibuster actually endangers the whole edifice of civic democracy in America.

TPM Reader PT notes — and rightly so — that it’s actually remarkable that there are only four Democratic senators expressing any real level of resistance to changing the filibuster rules. That’s a massive sea change from as little as four or five years ago. As I’ve noted, I fully expect Warner and King to give way in short order if their constituents press them. Its really just the two odd men (people) out: Manchin and Sinema. Today and going forward it is impossible for a Democratic candidate to be elected to the Senate anywhere in the United States while supporting the filibuster. It’s anathema among Democrats. But in this post I wanted to step back from the immediate necessity and partisan advantages of ditching or scaling back the filibuster to note how important it is for the future of civic democracy in the United States for the filibuster to be abolished.

Filibuster defenders now usually argue some future advantage. Senator King says that what seems like an obstacle today will be needed as a shield in the future. Filibuster opponents correctly respond that it is folly to believe that the current Republican Party would hesitate for a moment to ditch the filibuster if it represented any meaningful obstacle to getting anything they wanted. They took the wildly unprecedented step of refusing to entertain a Supreme Court nomination for an entire year to steal the seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia. They ditched the filibuster for Supreme Court appointments as soon as they had the chance to pack the Court under Trump. Everything we know about the current GOP tells us it’s folly to believe they’d hesitate.

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We’ve got our first “Roe and Reform” score change. The office of Sen. Duckworth reached out to Kate Riga this morning to inform her of Senator Duckworth’s position change on Friday. She’s now in the Yes column. That means the “Keeping It Vague” group goes from 11 to 10 members.

It’s So Important

Our new and revised Roe and Reform” list has just been published. A new, cleaner format. Details on where all 50 Democratic senators currently stand on passing a Roe law and committing to suspending the filibuster rules to guarantee an up or down vote. I’ll be honest. This isn’t moving fast enough. It’s frustrating. If Democrats can line up commitments to pass a Roe law in January 2023 if they hold the House and add two additional senators, their chances of holding Congress will increase substantially. I really think it’s likely the make-or-break thing. But Democrats across the country need to pressure their senators to get on board, make the clear and public commitment. The problem is that senators living in Senateworld have their own instinctive resistance to committing, even to things they support. When you live in Senateworld, the importance of these kinds of things can be lost on you. The tens of millions of people who are devastated, angry, outraged, afraid don’t necessarily focus on the admittedly kind of obscure issue of legislative vote counts and how they interact with election messages in a topsy turvy midterm. But there’s this big, big opportunity that just requires getting all the wires connected so the machine can really move. That’s why this list is so important. It’s a guide that can help ordinary voters actually put Roe on the ballot in November, not just as a vague slogan but for real.

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Does Trump Still Need the Big Lie? Prime Badge

On Saturday, in a post about the current state of and future of Trumpism, I said that a key reason for the slow deterioration of Trump’s 2024 support is his relentlessly backward-looking and self-centered focus. In other words, it’s the Big Lie and the ways in which the Big Lie has incorporated the Mueller probe, his impeachments and all of his other first term wounds and grievances. TPM Reader TS wrote in to say that while he agreed with my argument he wondered whether Jon Chait’s related piece modified or changed my view of this. Chait argued that the conventional wisdom, which holds that Trump needs to give up his fixation on the 2020 election, is plainly wrong. Not only does he not need to drop the Big Lie — in fact, it’s his best strategy for getting the 2024 nomination.

So who’s right?

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