David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

Let's be realistic. GOP intransigence on Obamacare is not going to evaporate. But Tierney Sneed reports from Philly on why health care advisers in the Clinton circle are optimistic there are avenues to advance reforms. Worth a read.

If there's one thing Tierney Sneed and Lauren Fox found while reporting for us in Cleveland that I probably don't factor in enough in assessing the Trump phenomenon it's the deep resentment and bitterness Republican Party rank-and-file feel toward their own leaders for not fulfilling the extravagant promises made to them since the 2010 Tea Party revolt. I tend to focus more on the white resentment, race-baiting, and xenophobia that arise from the tectonic social shifts way below the surface. They're not decoupled from each other, but the promise that Obama would be put in his place (with all the accompanying racial overtones to that notion) and his political and policy agenda expunged from the public record were powerful GOP draws for three election cycles, as detached from political reality as those promises may have been.

You get a strong flavor of that intra-party resentment in Lauren and Tierney's dispatch from last night. We've written before about how the grievances nursed against Obama ultimately came to be redirected at Republican leaders on the Hill, and you certainly saw that with the booing of Mitch McConnell this week when he was on the stage. But their story is a good reminder on that point and captures it well.

One of the emerging themes of the 2016 campaign on the GOP side is flying below the radar right now but will be incredibly important down the road: Social conservatives are taking advantage of Donald Trump's relative indifference to their issues to drive the party farther right and lock it in there. This piece from Cleveland by Tierney Sneed and Lauren Fox provides a good window into that dynamic via the pro-life movement.

So much fallout from Ted Cruz's non-endorsement speech last night. Some of the choice moments:

Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) calls Cruz a "wrecking ball" who is "the most self-centered, narcissistic, pathological liar I’ve ever seen."

Cruz's own Texas delegation ripped him a new one at a breakfast meeting appearance this morning.

A majority of the full U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the heavily litigated and controversial Texas voter ID law does have the effect of discriminating against minority voters, and ordered the state to devise a remedy to that problem before the November elections.

"We conclude that the district court did not clearly err in determining that SB 14 has a discriminatory effect on minorities’ voting rights in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act," the court majority wrote.

The unexpected ruling against the Republican-backed voter ID law by the conservative appeals court came as it faced a Supreme-Court-imposed deadline of Wednesday to rule in the case.

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A bewildered TPM Reader AV emails:

I’m writing to you as a long time reader and admirer of someone who has a pretty good handle on the entire Trump phenomenon. But after watching the Patricia Smith speech and reading your take on it, hours later I’m still having some trouble processing what I witnessed.

Read More →

The irony of the Melania Trump plagiarism is that she was the only element of Monday night's low-rent infomercial tableau that wasn't saturated in violence, revanchism, Dolchstoss myth-making, and darkness -- but it was tainted, too.

Tierney Sneed and Lauren Fox are spearheading our coverage in Cleveland, and their report from the scene captures much of what made the first day so disturbing. Here's how Vin Weber put it when talking Trump:

“He has projected since day one kind of this broad image of strength. Not very concrete, not very specific, but a strong guy. That’s what scares me about him, too. I don’t want an authoritarian figure as president, but that will appeal to people in an insecure environment.”

Worth your read once you have plumbed the depths of the plagiarism ridiculousness.