Josh_m_profile2019

Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I want to respond to a point TPM Reader MR made below. He makes a few points. But there’s one in particular I want to drill in on because it’s deeply embedded in his argument and is widespread enough to constitute something like a conventional wisdom or even a truism for many. I’d summarize the argument as this: it’s not enough to turn the clock back to 2016 or go back to some pre-Trump ‘good old days’ because ‘that’s what got us Trump’.

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TPM Reader CR takes a simple approach ..

I see this election in fairly straightforward terms:

Trump has basically had his average approval rating written in stone at about 43%, and his disapproval rating in the 52-54% range. Since, by virtually every survey, this looks to be a huge turnout election and not a “base” election, those percentages should be more accurate than if it was a base election.

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TPM Reader MR says it’s not all about the presidential horse race …

I’d like to expand on an important disagreement I have with a portion of your recent Editor’s Blog post “Don’t go overboard with this”. It’s a disagreement that I have with you that spans several of your posts, and I think it’s summed up nicely here.

You wrote, “Given the enormous stakes, you don’t just want someone who has a shot. You want to be sure it’s the candidate with the best shot, to the extent you can ascertain that.“ I disagree with this statement vehemently. I suppose this is the liberal version of the old “Buckley Standard”. It’s something that I felt was cynical when he laid it out, and I find defeatist and shortsighted in this context.

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While I was away I had a lot of time to reflect and pull together my thoughts on the Democratic primary race. As I’ve stated in the past I think there are major downside risks for the Democrats if they nominate Bernie Sanders. At the same time, I see a lot of pundits and not a few Democrats saying that Sanders is “unelectable”.

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Here’s another fascinating, sobering article in the Times tied to the COVID-19 outbreak. We know about the ongoing epidemic in China as well as new and fast-moving outbreaks in South Korea, Italy and Iran. So far there appears to be little if any domestic spread in the United States. This article looks beneath these headlines at the mix of federal authorities doing macro-planning, compiling lists of people returning from China and how they interact with a vast and decentralized array of local public health departments who are actually doing the monitoring.

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Thanks to the team for all the great coverage while I got away for a few days with my family. I had a nice, relaxing time. So now back to the dumpster fire of American politics.

From TPM Reader MC

I can believe that you’re describing a real phenomenon with your recent post. I feel it myself sometimes. My take is that it’s linked to the differential poll response we seem to have observed in the last week or two.

That said, it’s insanity-making, unwise, and unworthy of us.

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TPM Reader DM kind of took my breath away …

In contrast to the decision to withdraw from politics, my wife and I, both recently retired, launched ourselves, for the first time, into the fray. We attended the 2016 women’s march, then she ran for Alabama state house in 2018, knocking on 6000 doors in her attempt to oust an eighty-year-old white male incumbent When that failed, we sold our Alabama home, stored our belongings and moved on January 1 to Arizona for the 2020 election to help Arizona Democrats elect Mark Kelly to the Senate to put a check on this administration. This dark week just reinforces our decision to stand up against a President who is following every authoritarian’s playbook in methodical fashion.

First from TPM Reader EH

I will not vote for Michael Fucking Bloomberg. I’m no kind of “Bernie or Bust” zealot. The only candidate I’ve donated to in this cycle is Warren. I’ll be thrilled to support her or Bernie against Trump. I’ll be perfectly willing to pull the lever for Biden or Klobuchar. I’ll even hold my nose and try to keep my lunch down if I have to vote for Pete. Bloomberg? No fucking way.

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I generally don’t like amplifying counsels of despair. As I’ve written previously, optimism is less prediction or analysis as a moral posture toward the world. But I also think it is important to understand what many Democrats, liberals, opponents of President Trump of less defined ideology are feeling. Yes, there’s plenty of anger. There’s plenty of fear. But what I have listened to and noted over his years in the White House are the voices of withdrawal. To be very specific, people who find the news so bad and toxic that they are trying to make a voluntary exit from the public sphere — withdraw into work, family, hobbies. Needless to say, many of us who live politics 24/7 could probably use a bit more focus on those. But what we’re seeing here is something different and more dangerous: the way quasi-authoritarian governments constrict the public sphere, pushing people into their private worlds and away from civic engagement.

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