75 Comments
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Thank you Eric for highlighting this issue. I have heard several longtime political journalists say that this leak had to have been approved by Mitch. The media has been reporting on this as if Mitch is standing up. What he is doing is proving what a cowardly weasel he really is but I haven’t seen anyone in the media say that. Most refuse to call out these Republican macho men for their abject abject cowardice. I have seen more than one report that privately Republicans are telling people that they are too terrified to vote for impeachment or conviction because they are afraid they will get killed or their families will. Some even cried. The only person I have seen berate them as pathetic, abject cowards is Rick Wilson.

However no one in the media, not even Rick Wilson, has pointed out that Democrats face the same risk of assassination and have for a long time but Democrats have refused to be cowed even after the plot to kidnap and assassinate the Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic governor of Michigan was revealed. I have not seen anyone praise the incredible courage that Democrats have consistently showed. Nancy Pelosi is a top target and was long before the delicate Mike Pence was put on the list. Last night Michigan Rep Elissa Slotkin said she has gotten many death theat as have. her husband and kids. She made the point that the risk for her is high because she lives in central Michigan which has been a hotbed of right wing extremist militias for decades. (Tim McVeigh had contacts with the Michigan Militia.)

The media should not only be mocking the faux macho boys in the Manly Men Party and they should be loudly praising the courage of the Mommy Party. Nancy Pelosi, a 5’5” eight year old woman has guts than all these sniveling cowards combined. I have long believed that a major appeal of Republicans is that they are perceived as the party of strength and courage. Now is the time to put a stake through the heart of that masquerade and give credit to Democrats for being the party with the courage to stand up for our democracy.

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Pelosi is not to be messed with. I am much shorter than she is, but people that know me... do not be fooled by size. They will never realize Nancy knows the rules to all games. How to play, how to play to win, how to sucker the other side right in to her web of smarts then slap them with her stilettoes. They have never learned. Just because a woman isn't saying anything does not mean she can't reach over and grab you by the throat for looking at her crossways. She is very skilled in her job. she comes from a line of politicians in, Baltimore.

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Thank you for saying just because a woman is short or older doesn't mean we can't take you down and play the game just like a republican man. Probably better than these manly men republicans.

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Plus, i have sat three or four nights a week watching 4 of my grandkids become "MMA Blackbelts". You can learn alot by observation!

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Theodora, thanks for highlighting this important point about Democrats long being the targets of assassination threats and just keeping on, vs. the Republicans excusing their cowardice on suddenly being in a position they never thought to be in. I muse every once in a while about whether there were assassination threats to Barack Obama that were just quietly dealt with.

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I keep going back to the Tea Party riots/death threats at the ACA Town Halls Dem Reps hosted for constituents. I remember the media sympathizing with the poor angry white people and underplaying the thuggery of the Tea Party and danger to the Democrats.

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Thank you for speaking the truth

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Yes. All of this. 💙

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That had to be said. Thanks 😊

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Republicans and media are not changing but Democrats can. Midterms are right around the corner. Democrats have to approach 2022 with the same vigor as the presidential election. There are eight competitive Senate races and the chance to pass our lead in the House. Hard work is one way to expose Republican hypocrisy. Has Stacey Abrams been given a lucrative lifetime contract as Head of the DNC yet?

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I was just thinking yesterday how 2018 went so well for Dems in House and 2020 not as well. Was it bc Trump was on the ticket?

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Living in Florida I can tell you Trump absolutely brought the panhandle types out in force. Look at Georgia. He lost much more narrowly than Senate GOP. It’s the only thing I’m applauding Trump for. He truly is taking a wrecking ball to the GOP.

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founding

I heard from Republicans in my family and in my neighborhood who are not Trump fans about their fears of defunding the police. I really do think that hurt with those suburban voters. We know that in 20218 suburban white women who typically vote Republican voted for Democrats in large numbers.

From what I have read it was those voters who were largely responsible for the Democrats’ landslide in 2018. There had to be a lot of vote-splitting among those voters in 2020. They voted for Biden because they can’t stand Trump but couldn’t bring themselves to vote for any other Democrat because they perceive them to be too left wing. This is just guesswork. I have been trying to find an analysis of the 2020 vote that includes the absentee ballots but all I can find are ones based on exit polls.

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I have had to explain that phrase to more people than I care to count. They had a right to be upset. The problem is, that plan has nothing close in meaning to the "defund the police". That was the worst choice of words that ever hit a campaign trail.

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founding

Unfortunately the people who insisted on using that phrase won’t admit it. They were outraged when Obama said they shouldn’t use stupid slogans. Here is the quote:

“ You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done. The key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with?"

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/528266-obama-you-lose-people-with-snappy-slogans-like-defund-the-police

They refuse to listen.

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I think that was their goal all along. They sabotage Democratic Party all the time.

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Possibly. Assuming Trumpers do not even bother to vote in 2022, Democrats have a chance to pad their numbers. Early voting and voting by mail has done wonders for the Democratic Party.

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founding

I do see signs of change in the media, not enough and not fast enough, but a definite shift. This week I have been seeing something I have been waiting decades for. Every day this week, during his last segment, Joe Scarborough has been interviewing Kurt Andersen, the author of “Evil Geniuses”. Andersen and Joe have talked about how Reagan is responsible for putting profit ahead of the good of the country. Andersen described how the NY Times gave a platform to Milton Friedman, the intellectual legitimizer of Republicans “profits over all” philosophy. Andersen even said that FDR gave us the New Deal, Reagan gave us the Raw Deal. Joe didn’t disagree. They also talked about how corporate America has been complicit in this. Joe went so far as to compare them to the business leaders who empowered Hitler! And many in the media are finally calling these people what they are — fascists. Even the etiquette queen Peggy Noonan has finally given her stamp of approval.

I just hope this isn’t a temporary thing and that it is not too little and far too late.

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author

I also hope it’s not temporary

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I tend to find myself watching Morning Joe, quite a bit lately. I agree with you. There are a lot of people who have discovered, Reagan was the "destroyer" of many good things. Although, one word on this subject. The condition Reagan was truthfully in, how much of it was the puppet masters behind the curtain? I never can tell with stories involving him. Did he have any clue or was Nancy and the others whispering in his ear and let him make it into a speech?

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I felt when he was elected he would be one the the most harmful Presidents in our history. He started the "government is the enemy" meme.

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Did he apologize to Hillary Clinton? Or at least admit the email frenzy was a mistake?

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founding

Of course not. He never misses and opportunity to trash Bill Clinton and Hillary is tainted by association. Joe was a part of the Clinton Derangent Syndrome crowd and their insane, slanderous, non-stop investigation of both Clintons. I think he is jealous of Bill.

A couple of months ago I heard Joe express outrage at Trump for implying Joe had murdered the young, female intern who was found dead in his office. I would have given anything if someone on the show had asked Joe if he has ever spoken out against the accusation that Clinton — and Hillary — had had their close friend Vince Foster murdered.

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She needs to get a huge medal of valor. She is the one that pushed voters to get their shit together and get in line. 2018, 2020, and then again in 2021. She taught the ground game to the best of the best. She produced the turn out. I think being the head of the DNC, would be the perfect answer. Although, does she want to be tied to that type of work? I think she prefers down the ditches raising hell to get voters to understand.

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Apparently the answer to the DNC question is Jamie Harrison.

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That's fine, as long as someone is working on the midterms today.

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That is how the GOP was so successful. Their voters always come out to vote. Always. The Dems need to start their development for an upper level ground game, We have what we needed. However, by 2022, people will have changed new voters will be upon us, society will have changed, pressing issues will have changed. The DEMs must be on a constant revolving, changing production. Never buy in to what was used previously. The country is changing by the minute and we better keep up or the Dems will be playing in the sandbox.

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The key is to shift more support to the state Democratic Party organizations. I think that's what Ohio Democratic Party is discussing. More continuous community/voter engagement on the ground all the time.

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That is a good one. Can he start this week?

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Whelp, at least the media’s moved on from their “Dems in Disarray” narrative.

And McConnell’s legacy will be only one tick better than Trump’s. It is mind boggling these people still think they have reputations and legacies to protect, when, to paraphrase Adam Schiff, they are tied with a cord of steel around Donald Trump for all of history.

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author

Totally agree abt “legacy.” I read one passage that stressed McConnell is stickler for “tradition”!

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The tradition of keeping white men in power at all costs and making sure the rich get richer at everyone else’s expense? Mainstream media really is desperate to make the GOP seem normal, even though they know it’s pure fiction. It’s just another form of propaganda. Can we start calling mainstream media corporate fascists now?

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I've been calling them "Mainslime Media" for years because of what you described. They've only been "outraged" about Trump because he's outlived his usefulness with the media masters. All they want is to go back to fawning over their "decent" Republican Bully Daddies.

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founding

The media has a Dems in disarray template saved an always ready to print when a republican daddy cracks the whip. If you think for a second they are slavering to write this story then you’ve got another if thing coming. In fairness they may be temporarily distracted, but Murdoch and Sulzberger will get tired of this soon and try and go back to business as usual.

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And neither has done a damn thing for the average American. Nothing.

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Is the primary gripe here about how disingenuous McConnell and other republicans are, or about how the press jumped on the idea that the republican wall might be cracking? The wall is probably not cracking -- because so many republicans are as rotten as Trump or because opportunists like McConnell see opportunity in pretending to turn over a new leaf. The press was generally supportive of the possibility that republicans might be coming to their senses, and in doing so supporting the idea that republicans were wrong before. Good for the press. But the press got it wrong, sort of a good wrong. Republicans are instead just as bad now as they were before.

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founding

I think Mitch is sincere. He hates Trump and always has. He has told people that he thinks that impeachment is the way the Republican Party can rid itself of Trump.

Mitch’s constituency is not the American people or even the people of Kentucky, it is wealthy donors. This week those donors have made it clear that they won’t fund Trumpers anymore. You can bet that has convinced Mitch the Republican party needs a divorce from Trump but Mitch still doesn’t have the guts to say that publicly. He just made sure it was leaked. He is pathetic.

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founding

He may be sincere but he took the same NRA laundered Russian money that got us here in the first place.

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By sincere I mean he is sincere about wanting to separate Trump from the party and impeachment could help with that. As I said his priority is money from wealthy donors and wealthy donors are turning against the Trumps and Republicans who are helping him. Mitch doesn’t care if that money if laundered from Russian through the NRA as long as it helps Republicans stay in power. Now that Trump is becoming a threat to that he will be glad if he is impeached. He just won’t publicly say it, he will take the coward’s way and leak it.

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He took Russian money with his own hands and by his own doing.. Relaxed sanctions against a Russian/Ukrainian Oligarch. Then, low and behold that same Oligarch is dumping money in KY, to build an aluminum plant and bring those low paying jobs to the residents. Mitch did that all on his own. My understanding is, Graham pulled a similar deal in SC. They are all money grubbing dirt bags.

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Mitch McConnell is Lucy and our failed political press is Charlie Brown in this Kabuki story.

The press will never acknowledge that the Republicans are bad faith actors as it would mean A) that they’ve been wrong for the 40-plus years that they have been enabling them, and B) that the lazy Both-Sides gambit goes to the trash heap. Our pundits will never allow this to happen, it exposes the whole house of cards.

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Good Lucy analogy.

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Rachel Maddow's line about what they do, not what they say, gets lost like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. Eric, you are not surprisingly spot on about the press catnip.

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author

gosh yes, re: what they do vs. what they say. it's amazing so many in Jan. 2021 (!) haven't figured that out

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Man, you just killed my buzz :) The fact that McConnell did not change his mind about bringing the Senate back early to hold a hearing and vote, you knew it was nothing more than bluster. Trump will never change and nor will McConnell. I think you're right, it's a setup for the Republicans to vote down conviction because McConnell's primary goal is to deny the Democrats under Biden any wins whatsoever. The more things change...

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author

what's so bizarre is that supposedly sophistical political analysts in Beltway media can't see McConnell's obvious move. they honestly thought he was going to lead impeachment charge??

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founding

For such a bunch of “savvy” operators they act like rubes.

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They couldn't or refused to see what Trump really was and is - a mob boss. Eric - did you see Erik Wemple's piece about Joe Scarborough at WaPo? You'll def get a few chortles from it:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/14/joe-scarborough-we-made-same-mistake-that-people-made-during-hitlers-rise/

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Thanks for article I just have this to say people forget the things they have said on air and articles. As Maya Angelou said when someone tells you who they are believe them. All these people are full of BS.

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Have they forgotten the title of mitch's book the long game??

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I didn't even know he wrote a book.

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Written in 2016 with foreword by DJT so we know mitch is a player.

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OMG. Trump wrote the forward for Mitch? Mitch has a lot more seasoned friends than just Trump. Unless, which I have heard Trump do before. Pretty much force the book writer to "beg" Trump to write the Forward. I wish I could remember who the other "victim" is.

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No i just think mitch is smart title of book says it all.

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They are so desperate to have "story" they can stretch into at least a full hour story for each personality that will air that night or day. Mitch doesn't want his "people", turning on him by voting to convict.

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Yes. They realize the majority of their voters are legit cultists. They are walking the tight rope. Acting disgusted with Trump but not going all in on sanity either, because of the support Trump still has among GOP voters. Mitch is more upset over the 2k checks boxing him in and likely costing him his majority, then he is the coup attempt. 100%

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Eric, couldn't agree with you more about McConnell playing the press. Have we all learned nothing from this man's long history as Senate majority leader? In some ways, at least to my mind, he is as bad as Trump, just way sneakier. He appears to be intelligent and knowledgeable, but I struggle to come up with one action of his in the last 12 years whose motivation wasn't solely to cement the power of the GOP and prevent any political outcome that could possibly give credit to the Democrats----no matter what the benefit or damage to the country might be. This is from my interpretation of political coverage (although I am pretty much a news junkie) so please let me know if there are any positive actions (for the country, not for the Republicans) of McConnell's that I have missed.

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Thanks Eric. Your analysis is spot on. McConnell has only one interest: self-interest. As the majority leader he was an autocrat. Now he "leaks" some chum for the press and they fall for it. Funny, why not stress that he did not recall the Senate?

My hope is that the investigation into whether GOP actively assisted the violence and murder that occurred on January 6th reveals what we all suspect, and the press covers it properly and thoroughly. Focus on the cancer in our government, not the chattering of cowards.

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This. ☝️

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First words on McConnell's "today" thinking I've read with which I agree - and of course they're yours.

How any journo in his/her right mind could believe for a nanosecond that this horrible and very bad old man could turn from his stance of the last god knows how many years is beyond me.

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Gee, shall I forward this one to Dean Baquet, aka Pope Dean the Infallible? They can screw up a podcast and not mention the host is in a relationship with the producer, and both of them get protected, but dare they admit their lack of actual political reporting?

Meanwhile, there's this story: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/business/media/ny-post-aggregation-fake-news.html. And here's what I love about it: The outlets in question should never consort with anyone from the Murdoch empire because there isn't a single journalist in the group. Not one. But the lies they tell drive the narrative.

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Nailed this one Eric. While Trump World may have an alternative set of facts, McConnell has happily filled the space between that and truth telling. In our former reality that would simply be called lying.

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Mitch to Democrats, "Heh heh heh heh heh heh". With that self satisfied smirk.

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The McConnell 'leak' was so obvious as to be preposterous...but the media was all over it. How about Don Jr. 'leaking' that he doesn't want a pardon, that he has nothing to fear, nothing to hide...blah, blah, blah. And the media reports it like it is a real sentiment. Drives me crazy. The family pardons are up next, BTW, as they have been a foregone conclusion for 4 years.

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Thankful that GA voters did what we needed to do to flip the Senate. Fingers crossed that will thwart Mitch’s attempts to obstruct President Biden. Although, I’m nervous about what the impeachment trial will do for Biden Administration appointments.

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