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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Perceptions of the Economy

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the politics of economic policy.

Emily Peck at Axios:
Turns out how you feel about the economy likely comes down to your paycheck: If your wages are outpacing inflation, things look rosy — if not, well, that's quite dispiriting, a new paper finds.

Why it matters: The paper from economist Darren Grant answers a puzzle plaguing economists and journalists since 2022. That is, why was consumer sentiment so dismal even as the economy roared and unemployment hit record lows? The findings have big implications politically as President Biden tries to sell Americans on the success of "Bidenomics."
The contradiction between how Americans feel about the economy — and the actual state of the economy — will play a key role in the 2024 election, Axios' Hans Nichols writes.

Driving the news: In a speech in Chicago on Wednesday, Biden talked up his economic record, pointing to historic job growth, the low unemployment rate (especially for women and Black people), and his infrastructure legislation, among other things.Biden touted record wage growth for low-wage workers, too.

Between the lines: The thing is, the overall picture for wage growth is a less positive story. Until very recently, real wage growth — that is, factoring in the impact of inflation — was negative for Americans on average. Now, finally, as inflation eases, real wage growth is turning positive (see the recent reversal in the chart above). And consumer sentiment is picking up, too, as Axios' Neil Irwin reports.

\The key question now: Will it last?

"The deal isn't really sealed with the American public until real wages start to grow," said Grant, a professor at Sam Houston State University in Texas.

Also see real disposable income per capita. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Longshot Logic

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.

Adam Wren at Politico:
The hottest club in GOP politics right now is the party’s presidential primary. The calculus of every longshot is that anything could happen. And the likely, worst-case scenario? It isn’t that bad at all.

A failed presidential run is often the ladder to a better gig: a spot on the ticket, an elevated platform to run for a different office, landing an administration job— a Slovenian ambassadorship, perhaps—or to notch a plum media contract.

Truth is, the shoot-for-the-moon-and-you’ll-land-among-the-stars strategy is all upside. And in the presidential attention-grabbing industrial complex, 2024 is looking like one for the record books.

More than a dozen people have declared in the Republican field. All but two of them are polling below 10 percent. Even candidates who would typically appear viable have other motivations to run.

Makes sense. Biden dropped out of the race after crashing in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, then became Obama's running mate.  Even campaign missteps are not fatal.  Rick Perry's infamous "oops" moment in the 2012 race did not prevent him from becoming Trump's Secretary of Energy. 

Sometimes the attention is enough.  Anna Merlan on RFK Jr.

The longtime anti-vaccine activist is now running for president as a Democrat, bringing new attention and a touch of respectability to the same bad ideas he and others in his circle have been spreading for years. While Kennedy downplayed his anti-vaccine activism in the first weeks of his campaign, he’s since returned to form, first with a pseudoscience-heavy appearance on Joe Rogan and now with a health policy panel, featuring an array of figures who are not recognized experts in either health or policy as most people understand it.

In the course of the evening, Kennedy also revealed why he’s not running as an independent: in part, because of the enormously valuable press coverage he’s currently bathing in.

“Nobody pays attention to the independent until the general election,” he said at one point. “And that is a year from now. And I, right now, have 800 press requests. I’m somebody who could not get on the press for 18 years.”

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

SCOTUS Rejects "Independent State Legislature" Theory

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.

Jordan Rubin at MSNBC:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the “independent state legislature” theory — a GOP-backed effort to radically change federal election rules. Chief Justice John Roberts authored the 6-3 opinion.

Heading into this Supreme Court term, which started in October, voting rights proponents feared Moore v. Harper. North Carolina Republicans brought the case after the state's Supreme Court struck down their partisan gerrymandered congressional map. They cited the fringe "independent state legislature" theory, which, in its most extreme form, claims the Constitution's elections clause gives state legislatures unfettered control over federal elections.

But the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed. The elections clause “does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of state judicial review,” Roberts wrote, over dissent from Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Schiff and McCarthy

 Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.

Adam Schiff on Kevin McCarthy at KCRW last December:
He recalls that they were on a plane flying black to Washington D.C. in 2010, about six months before the midterm elections, and they discussed who they expected to win.

“I said Democrats and he said Republicans. And I didn’t think any more of it. We got to Congress, went our separate ways. And he went off and did a briefing, in which he told the press that Republicans were definitely gonna win the midterms, everybody knew it, and that he sat next to me on a plane, and I admitted that Republicans were going to win.”

He continues, “I was indignant when I found out about this. And I went up to him on the House floor. I said, ‘Kevin, you know what you told the press was the exact opposite of what I said.’ And he looked at me, he said, ‘Yeah, I know Adam, but you know how it goes.’ And I said, ‘No, Kevin, I don’t know how it goes. You just make — and I used an expletive — up. That’s how you operate … that’s not how I operate.’ But it is how he operates. And so that, I have to say, it was kind of a relationship killer from the start, and one that over time, I think so many other members have had the same experience.”

Mark Z. Barabak at LAT:

On Thursday, Rep. Adam B. Schiff turned 63. His birthday present arrived a day early, courtesy of vengeful House Republicans.

Schiff was formally censured Wednesday for his role in holding to account the most immoral, self-centered, self-dealing, insurrectionist president in modern American history.

The only thing missing was wrapping paper, a shiny red bow and a greeting card dotted with Xs and O‘s.

Former President Trump has described Schiff as “shifty,” “sick” and “corrupt.” He has also made the congressman what he is today: a political household name and prosecutorial hero to millions of Democrats nationwide.
The rebuke from the House GOP boosted Schiff’s political stock even further, edging the Burbank Democrat closer to his goal of besting a handful of party rivals and succeeding Dianne Feinstein as the next U.S. senator from California.

“I would call it an advertisement for Adam Schiff,” Bob Shrum, a veteran Democratic strategist who teaches political science at USC, said following the party-line censure vote. “Brought to you by the MAGA caucus in the Republican House.”

A fundraising email:



Kevin McCarthy took up the resolution attacking me for holding Trump accountable.


After Trump threatened a primary challenge against any Republican who refused to vote for it, MAGA Republicans officially passed their resolution to censure me. Why? Because I upheld my oath of office and held Donald Trump accountable for his many abuses of power.


They will never silence me — not now and not ever — but I need your help to fight back. If you can, split an urgent $10 contribution to Southern Progress and our campaign right now to help us respond to this unprecedented political attack.


We face many pressing challenges as a country — affordable housing, access to health care, creating jobs, and so much more. Instead of addressing any of these challenges, Kevin McCarthy chose to take up this MAGA effort to distract from Donald Trump’s legal problems. They will never stop doing his bidding.


We've already known that the GOP is completely unhinged and beholden to Donald Trump.


With his call now to imprison me and primary any Republican who didn’t vote to censure me, Trump is telling the entire Republican Party that they must seek retribution against me politically and do whatever they can to prevent me from being elected to the Senate. This is not just a political stunt to rile up the MAGA base — it’s an attack on all accountability and constitutional oversight.


But make no mistake: If they thought this was going to deter me from holding Trump and his accomplices accountable or delivering real results for California and our nation, they thought wrong. I will not stop my fight to put truth and our democracy first — even if it means standing up to a twice-impeached ex-president and his lackeys.


With Kevin McCarthy and MAGA Republicans ramping up their attacks against me, I’m going to need you by my side more than ever. Will you split a grassroots donation of $10 to help Southern Progress and me stand up to the GOP’s attacks?


MAGA Republicans may have voted to censure me, but I will always use my voice to hold them accountable. No matter what political retribution they throw at me next.


Let’s work together to push back against these attacks on our democracy.


Thank you,


— Adam


Sunday, June 25, 2023

MAGA Factions

Our recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. 

Olivia Beavers at Politico:

Tensions inside the conservative House Freedom Caucus have reached the point that some members are floating the idea of purging colleagues from the group.

At least two hardliners have discussed — and proposed to Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.) — trying to boot members who no longer meet the group’s standards, according to three Republicans with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity. The lawmakers declined to name who’s behind the ouster calls, underscoring the sensitivity of the situation.
While the members suggesting a purge did not specify the people they want to remove, they are signaling that one target of any ejection push is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). Some in the Freedom Caucus have focused on Greene, who’s become a close ally of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, to illustrate their fears that certain group members are too aligned with GOP leaders and too outwardly critical of the group when it splits on certain issues.

Zachary Petrizzo and Sam Brodey at The Daily Beast:

The messy feud between two of MAGA world’s biggest stars burst into public view on Wednesday, when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) a “little b***h” to her face on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The angry exchange came as the two lawmakers have been swiping at each other over their competing resolutions to impeach President Joe Biden. But tensions came to a head on Wednesday after Boebert leveraged a procedural tool to force a vote on her own impeachment resolution within days—undercutting Greene, who had offered her own resolution, but not with the procedural advantages of forcing a vote.

Greene apparently cursed out Boebert while the House was voting Wednesday afternoon, as the two spoke in a center aisle of the House floor; part of their interaction was captured on C-SPAN’s cameras.


Saturday, June 24, 2023

Abortion Politics One Year After Dobbs

The boost Democrats received from the abortion issue from last year’s midterm elections through downballot races so far in 2023 has been well documented. And the latest round of polling shows that momentum continues.

In addition to holding the majority, supporters of abortion rights are more motivated by the issue than opponents — a major shift from before Dobbs. According to Gallup, 33 percent of voters who identify as “pro-choice” say they would only support a candidate for office who agreed with their position, while just 23 percent of “pro-life” voters say the same thing.

And because there are more “pro-choice” voters than “pro-life” ones, the numbers break out like this: 17 percent of the total electorate is composed of “pro-choice” voters who would only support candidates who favor abortion rights, while 10 percent of all voters are “pro-life” and would only vote for abortion-rights opponents.

Dating back to 1996, abortion-centric “pro-life” voters outnumbered “pro-choice” ones in every Gallup poll until 2022, and there’s been no change since that first flipped last May.

A new Monmouth poll out this week underscores how fundamental abortion rights have become for Democrats. Among all Americans, abortion and women’s rights (19 percent) ranked third behind freedom of speech (26 percent) and gun rights (21 percent) when asked about the specific types of rights they worry about losing. But for Democrats, abortion and women’s rights (36 percent) was far and away the rights they see as most under threat, easily ahead of freedom of speech (14 percent) and voting rights (12 percent).

Jeremy White et al. at Politico:
Through it all, few have been more aggressive than Newsom in forcing the issue and inserting California into state-level standoffs. In the months after decrying national Democrats’ anemic response, he bought billboards in red states advertising California as an abortion haven, moved to cut off Walgreens for succumbing to Republican pressure on abortion medication (The outcome was more complicated.) and responded to a Texas law authorizing payouts to people who sue abortion providers by pushing a California version for guns, hoping to force a legal reckoning.

Abortion access may be settled law in the state Newsom leads, but he always has an eye on the bigger picture. The governor has raised money for President Joe Biden and his own PAC by lambasting Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on abortion restrictions. When a Texas judge blocked approval of an abortion drug, Newsom let his donors know California was stockpiling pills — and asked for $20 to “fight back everywhere rights are under attack.”

Rachel Bade at Politico:

Former President Donald Trump avoids talking about the matter almost entirely. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban in the middle of the night in April, and has barely spoken about it since. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) originally waffled on whether he’d support a nationwide abortion ban. And former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been vague about how she’d handle the issue as president.

Then there’s former Vice President Mike Pence.

More than any other Republican candidate, the former vice president has staked his pitch to voters on his unabashed “pro-life” stance.

While some Republicans — including Trump and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — say that in a post-Roe America, abortion policy should be left up to the states, Pence has endorsed a nationwide ban on the medical procedure at 15 weeks of gestation.

While some Republicans say the party shouldn’t weigh in on banning widely used abortion drugs, Pence’s 501(c)(4) group Advancing American Freedom has filed an amicus brief supporting a challenge to the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, the most widely used abortion pill in the country.

Friday, June 23, 2023


Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.

 Mike Allen at Axios:

Former U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, who announced yesterday for the Republican nomination for president, is a long shot. But his entry into the '24 contest is a benchmark:

Of the 12 major GOP candidates in the race, half are people of color, Axios' Sophia Cai reports.

Why it matters: It's a historic turn for Republicans, who recently have made a point of recruiting more minorities candidates — and have made slight gains among minority voters.

Hurd joins two other Black Americans in the GOP race — Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and conservative radio host Larry Elder.Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy are Indian Americans. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is Cuban American.
In 2018, Hurd criticized Trump for kowtowing to Putin in Helsinki:

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Barr v. Trump

  Our most recent book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and Trump's disregard for law.  According to a federal indictment, he jeopardized national security by illegally retaining government documents, and then obstructed efforts to get them back. 

William Barr at The Free Press:

All the razzle-dazzle about Trump’s supposed rights under the Presidential Records Act is a sideshow. At its core, this is an obstruction case. Trump would not have been indicted just for taking the documents in the first place. Nor would he have been indicted even if he delayed returning them for a period while arguing about it.

What got Trump criminally charged was his deceit and obstruction in responding to the grand jury subpoena served in May 2022 after he had stymied the government for a year.

That subpoena sought all documents in Trump’s possession that were marked as classified. If Trump truly thought he had a solid basis for keeping those documents, there were easy and obvious ways he could have lawfully raised those arguments at the time. Among other things, he could have taken legal action to quash the subpoena or have a court declare his right to keep them.

He did not do any of that.

Instead, the indictment alleges, he led the government to believe he was complying with the subpoena, telling the DOJ he was an “open book.” At the same time, he told his own lawyer it would be “better” to tell the DOJ there were no such documents and suggested his lawyer pluck out any “really bad” ones before giving anything to the government. Why would Trump say these things to his lawyer if he really thought he had a good legal basis for keeping all the documents?

But the pivotal fact—and what ultimately led the DOJ to charge Trump—was the department’s conclusion that Trump personally engaged in an outrageous course of deception to obstruct the grand jury’s inquiry. The indictment alleges in great detail that (1) Trump led his lawyer to believe that he would be allowed to conduct a complete search of all the boxes that could contain the relevant documents; (2) Trump then arranged, without the lawyer’s knowledge, for a large number of the relevant boxes to be removed from the room to be searched, thus preventing a complete search; and (3) Trump then caused his attorney to file a false statement with the court saying he conducted a complete search.

If true—and many key facts come from Trump’s own lawyer—this was brazen criminal conduct that cannot be justified in any way.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Nationalization of Campaign Finance

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses campaign finance.

Derek Willis at Decision Desk HQ:
Congressional candidates wanting to raise money for their campaigns have long had to seek out donors far from their home states, even if they were hoping to get elected in California, New York, Florida and Texas.

Just as the nationalization of politics has trickled down to U.S. House and Senate races, the nationalization of donors has been on a steady increase since the turn of the century.

In the 2022 election cycle, House candidates who raised at least $200,000 got about 62% of their itemized donations from in-state contributors, according to a recent report from OpenSecrets. For Senate candidates, that figure was about 42%.

That's still a significant chunk of in-state money, but consider that, during the 2000 cycle, those figures were 79% and 62%, respectively. The trend line is clear: out-of-state donors account for an increasing portion of congressional candidates' fundraising.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Documents, Schmocuments

 Our most recent book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and Trump's disregard for law.  According to a federal indictment, he jeopardized national security by illegally retaining government documents, and then obstructed efforts to get them back. 

Aaron Blake at WP:

But despite it being readily apparent that Trump didn’t do what the government asked, a new YouGov poll shows Republicans, by and large, maintain that he did. It shows 53 percent say Trump “cooperated in returning documents,” with just 15 percent saying he didn’t.

Perhaps as stunningly, YouGov back in January asked the same question about President Biden and former vice president Mike Pence, both of whom had a smaller number of classified documents. Despite there being no evidence either of them declined to turn over the documents, significantly more Republicans said Biden didn’t cooperate (38 percent) than said the same of Trump (17 percent). Just 22 percent of Republicans said Biden had cooperated.

And in case you think this just boils down to partisanship, it doesn’t. In contrast to Republicans’ views of Biden’s supposed lack of cooperation, Democrats recognized Pence’s cooperation by a 50-12 margin.

Related to the above are views of intentionality. There is no public evidence that Biden knew he had classified documents and held on to them, and plenty that Trump did. That evidence long predates last week’s indictment. But a February Quinnipiac poll showed just 48 percent of Republicans believed Trump intentionally held on to the documents, compared to 71 percent who said the same of Biden.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Hugging the Third Rail

Our recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. 

David Lerman at Roll Call:
The largest bloc of House conservatives offered up a fiscal blueprint Wednesday that promises to balance the federal budget in seven years, make GOP tax cuts permanent, and slash domestic spending.

The plan offered by the 175-member Republican Study Committee would gradually raise the age at which future retirees can start claiming full Social Security benefits from 67 to 69, a politically fraught proposal that's all but certain to appear in Democratic campaign ads.

The document also proposes a "premium support" plan that would subsidize private insurance options that compete with traditional Medicare. That would be similar to budget plans proposed by Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., during his tenure in Congress that were panned by Democrats and some Republicans, including former President Donald Trump.

While House Republicans have yet to produce a fiscal 2024 budget resolution, the RSC blueprint offers a wish list of conservative priorities that could influence the appropriations process. Chairman Kevin Hern of Oklahoma said House leadership has promised his plan would get a floor vote.


A vast majority of Americans (78 percent) would oppose raising the full retirement age for Social Security from 67 to 70, while 17 percent would support it.

When Americans were asked whether they would support raising the full retirement age for Social Security from 67 to 70 if it meant that benefits would last longer, Americans would still oppose it 62 - 30 percent.

1,795 U.S. adults nationwide were surveyed from March 9th - 13th with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points.


Friday, June 16, 2023

Successfully Playing with Trump's Head

 Our most recent book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and Trump's disregard for law.  According to a federal indictment, he jeopardized national security by illegally retaining government documents, and then obstructed efforts to get them back. 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Deepfake War

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the impact of social media and campaign technology.

Josh Archote at the Tampa BayTimes :
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political campaign’s apparent use of fake, artificial intelligence-generated photos of former President Donald Trump hugging and kissing Anthony Fauci has raised concerns among experts about the new technology’s ability to deceive voters.

The pictures were part of a 40-second video posted last week by @DeSantisWarRoom on Twitter criticizing Trump — DeSantis’ chief rival for the GOP presidential nomination — for not firing Fauci, an infectious disease expert who was a part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Many Republicans say Fauci advised keeping businesses and schools closed unnecessarily throughout the pandemic.


In May, Trump shared a two-minute parody video on Truth Social and Instagram of DeSantis’ presidential announcement that made it look like DeSantis was making his announcement alongside the devil, Adolf Hitler and others. And Donald Trump Jr. days later shared a video that replaced Steve Carell’s character from the hit show “The Office” with a figure that looked and sounded like DeSantis. In the scene, the characters of the sitcom mock Carell’s character for unknowingly wearing a woman’s suit.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Newsom on Hannity

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections

California Governor Gavin Newsom spent much of 2022 trying to raise his profile outside the state. The effort continues.


Monday, June 12, 2023

"Communist" as a Call to Violence

Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes: "This election was stolen and this is a communist/Deep State coup, every bit as corrupt and illegitimate as what is done in third world banana republics.  

" QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley, offered a "prayer" from the Senate dais: "Thank you for allowing us to get rid of the communists, the globalists, and the traitors within our government."

Richard Barnett (who invaded Speaker Pelosi's office):

  • "Y’all gotta pick a fucking side. This civil war, this isn’t ‘oh, somebody broke the law’—the fucking Communists have declared war on us, boys.”
  • [to the police} “You need to give up communism is what you need to do. You need to give up communism and protect these people.

William Calhoun: "“we are going to kill every last communist who stands in Trump’s way”

Yvonne St.  Cyr " crawled through a broken window into senate office space. She claimed she did this because she was looking for a place to charge her phone. Instead, she recorded an obscenity-laced tirade about `communist America./'

Karl Dresch: "Mike Pence gave our country to the communist hordes, traitor scum like the rest of them, we have your back give the word and we will be back even stronger.”

Sean McHugh [to police]: "“You guys like protecting pedophiles?”; “You’re protecting communists!”

Dillon Homol: "American people are sick and tired of it, we’re tired of it, the communist cops of Washington DC, we’re storming the Capitol building. We’re storming the Capitol, this is our country."

Thomas Webster [to police]: "“You fucking piece of shit. You fucking Commie motherfuckers, man . . . Come on, take your shit off. Take your shit off.”

Lucas Denney: "Tell your boss you’re going to do your part saving the country from communist."

Donald Hazard:

  • “[A]ll you shady treasonous demacrats!! All Democrat/communist politicians should be hung for treason.”
  • "“Joe Biden Kamala Harris and the whole Democratic Party are nothing but a bunch of worthless communist whose sole purpose is nothing but to do away with the Constitution and take all of our freedoms away."
  • [To Capitol Police] “Fuck you! You’re bought out by China, you communist fuck!”

Hints of Violence

Our book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection.  Some Republican leaders -- and a measurable number of rank-and-file voters -- are open to violent rebellioncoups, and secession.  Trump posted a picture of himself holding a baseball bat, right next to a picture of DA Bragg.

Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone:
EXTREME SUPPORTERS OF Donald Trump have met news of his federal indictment with visions of violence and retribution.
At The Donald, a forum for ultra-MAGA Trump supporters, users demanded public executions and other forms of lynching to avenge the federal prosecution of Trump, for the alleged mishandling of state secrets at Mar a Lago after he was no longer president.

The calls for violence appeared in comment threads, responding to posts on the front page of the forum Thursday night, after news broke of Trump’s latest legal troubles. The most extreme comments were written in response to a fanciful post insisting “the only solution” to DOJ’s efforts to lock up Trump would be to vote him back into the presidency, so Trump could “pardon himself and begin arresting those guilty of insurrection and sedition.”

A user named “Belac186” offered a far deadlier fix: “The only way this country ever becomes anything like the Constitution says this country should be is if thousands of traitorous rats are publicly executed.” Commenter “DogFaceKilla” quickly chimed in to offer supplies: “I got some rope somewhere in the garage…” And “Heavy_Metal_Patriot” added: “Hans says we can borrow the flammenwerfer” — a reference to a battlefield flame thrower used to by German soldiers in World War II.

Shayna Jacobs, David Nakamura, Hannah Allam and Isaac Arnsdorf at WP:

Trump, during a radio interview with longtime adviser Roger Stone on Sunday afternoon, repeated his call for protests. For his part, Stone — who helped mobilize the protest movement that drew thousands to the nation’s capital on Jan. 6, 2021 — encouraged demonstrators to remain peaceful, civil and legal.

But Trump’s supporters have at times alluded to potential violence — including Kari Lake, a Republican from Arizona, who has planned a rally in support of Trump at a hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday night. During a conference of Georgia Republicans on Saturday, Lake suggested Trump’s prosecution could be met with violence, noting that she and other supporters are members of the National Rifle Association.

“If you want to get to President Trump, you’re going to have to go through me, and you’re going to have to go through 75 million Americans just like me,” Lake said, drawing roaring cheers and a standing ovation. Earlier in her speech, she called the indictment “illegitimate” and told the audience, “We’re at war, people — we’re at war.”

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Public Opinion on the Indictment

 Our most recent book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and Trump's disregard for law.  According to a federal indictment, he jeopardized national security by illegally retaining government documents, and then obstructed efforts to get them back.

Brittany Shepherd at ABC:

A plurality of Americans think that former President Donald Trump should have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to his handling of classified documents, yet a near equal number say the charges are politically motivated, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll. ... Nearly half -- 48% -- of Americans think Trump should have been charged in this case, whereas 35% think he should not have been and 17% saying they do not know, per the ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel.

Anthony Salvanto et al. at CBS:

Republican primary voters say they're far more concerned that Donald Trump's indictment is politically motivated than his alleged conduct being a national security risk – and there's no evidence it's hurt his status as the clear front-runner for the 2024 nomination, at least not yet. He remains well ahead of rivals in both consideration and vote choice. 


Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Indictment

Our most recent book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and Trump's disregard for law.

Destruction of government documents is a crime.  So is the retaining classified material.

From the Trump indictment:

4. At 12:00p.m. on January 20,2021, TRUMP ceased to be president. As he departed the White House, TRUMP caused scores of boxes, many of which contained classified documents, to be transported to The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he maintained his residence. TRUMP was not authorized to possess or retain those classified documents. 

5. The Mar-a-Lago Club was an active social club, which, between January 2021 and August 2022, hosted events for tens of thousands of members and guests. After TRUMP's presidency, The Mar-a-Lago Club was not an authorized location for the storage, possession, review, display, or discussion of classified documents. Nevertheless, TRUMP stored his boxes containing classified documents in various locations at The Mar-a-Lago Club, including in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room.

6. On two occasions in 2021, TRUMP showed classified documents to others, as follows:

a. In July 2021, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey The Bedminster Club), during an audio-recorded meeting with a writer, a publisher, and two members of his staff, none of whom possessed a security clearance, TRUMP showed and described a plan of attack that TRUMP said was prepared for him by the Department of Defense and a senior military official. TRUMP told the individuals that the plan was highly confidential and secret. TRUMP also said, "as president I could have declassified it," and, "Now I can't, you know, but this is still a secret."

b. In August or September 2021, at The Bedminster Club, TRUMPshowed a representative of his political action committee who did not possess a security clearance a classified map related to a military operation and told the representative that he should not be showing it to the representative and that the representative should not get too close.


54. On May 23,2022, TRUMP met with Trump Attorney 1 and Trump Attorney 2 at The Mar-a-Lago Club to discuss the response to the May 11 Subpoena. Trump Attorney 1 and Trump Attorney 2 told TRUMP that they needed to search for documents that would be responsive to the subpoena and provide a certification that there had been compliance with the subpoena. TRUMP, in sum and substance, made the following statements, among others, as memorialized by Trump Attorney 

a: I don't want anybody looking, I don't want anybody looking through my boxes, I really don't, I don't want you looking through my boxes. 

b. Well what if we, what happens if we just don't respond at all or don't play ball with them? 

c. Wouldn't it be better if we just told them we don't have anything here? 

d, Well look isn't it better if there are no documents?

Friday, June 9, 2023

“As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t.”

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. 

Paula Reid and Jeremy Herb at CNN:
Former President Donald Trump acknowledged on tape in a 2021 meeting that he had retained “secret” military information that he had not declassified, according to a transcript of the audio recording obtained by CNN.

“As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t,” Trump says, according to the transcript.

CNN obtained the transcript of a portion of the meeting where Trump is discussing a classified Pentagon document about attacking Iran. In the audio recording, which CNN previously reported was obtained by prosecutors, Trump says that he did not declassify the document he’s referencing, according to the transcript.

Trump was indicted Thursday on seven counts in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the mishandling of classified documents. Details from the indictment have not been made public, so it unknown whether any of the seven counts refer to the recorded 2021 meeting. Still, the tape is significant because it shows that Trump had an understanding the records he had with him at Mar-a-Lago after he left the White House remained classified.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

The War on the Floor, 2023

 Melanie Zanona and Manu Raju at CNN:
A conservative revolt paralyzing the House has set off a bitter blame game among the upper ranks of GOP leadership, with top Republicans scrambling to defuse internal tensions that have spilled out into public view – and take some of the heat off themselves.

Privately, allies of Speaker Kevin McCarthy have directed their frustration at his top deputy, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, for Tuesday’s surprise floor defeat when a band of Republicans tanked a procedural vote on a GOP messaging bill – a move that has halted all action in the House and showed the limits of the speaker’s power in his narrow majority.

McCarthy’s allies say there’s a reason for the current standoff: Scalise mishandled a demand by a conservative hardliner, Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, for a vote on a bill to loosen a gun regulation. And they thought Scalise should have just apologized to Clyde before it grew into a bigger problem with more members coming forward with their own list of demands and grievances.

But Scalise’s allies believe it falls on McCarthy, whose deal-cutting with President Joe Biden to suspend the debt limit prompted accusations from the far-right that he violated the terms of his January agreement to become speaker. Scalise did not play a role in either of those deals.

In 1997, Bill Connelly and I wrote of another House GOP civil war

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

The GOP Field

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.

Will a divided primary field help Trump as it did in 2016?  Nate Cohn at NYT

With Mike Pence and Chris Christie bringing the field up to 10 candidates this week, it’s easy to wonder whether the same conditions might be falling into place again. Despite high hopes at the start of the year, Ron DeSantis has failed to consolidate Trump-skeptic voters and donors alike. Now, the likes of Mr. Pence and Mr. Christie — as well as Tim Scott and Nikki Haley — are in the fray and threatening to leave the Trump opposition hopelessly divided, as it was seven years ago.

In the end, Mr. Pence or Mr. Christie might well break out and leave the opposition to Mr. Trump as fractured as it was in 2016. But it’s worth noting that, so far, the opposition to Mr. Trump has been far more unified than it ever was back then. It’s not 2016, at least not yet.

So far this cycle, polls have consistently shown Mr. DeSantis with the support of a majority of Republican voters who don’t support Mr. Trump. Nothing like this happened in that past primary, when at various points five different candidates could claim to be the strongest “not-Trump” candidate, and none came even close to consolidating so much of the opposition to Mr. Trump. Ted Cruz got there eventually, but only after a majority of delegates had been awarded and it was down to him and John Kasich.

Morning Consult:

  • DeSantis’ support is stagnant after launch: DeSantis trails Trump by 34 percentage points among GOP primary voters (22% to 56%), similar to his standing before he launched his campaign on May 24. A fourth of potential primary voters reported hearing something negative about DeSantis over the past week, the highest share since tracking began in late November.
  • Pence, Christie enter the 2024 race with meager support: Former Vice President Mike Pence, who filed paperwork to seek the GOP’s 2024 nod, is backed by 7% of potential Republican primary voters, similar to his standing since tracking began in December. Just 1% of the party’s prospective electorate supports former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in advance of his campaign launch.
  • Few primary voters know who Burgum is: Roughly 4 in 5 potential GOP voters (78%) have either never heard of or formed no opinion about North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who is expected to launch a presidential campaign this week.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023