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Exclusive: The right threatens violence, the left points out those threats, and the media blames both –



Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

#threatens #violence #left #points #threats #media #blames

The idea that investigating or prosecuting Trump for his crimes is a problem is so deeply embedded in the media at this point that that NBC is actually using Lester Holt telling Attorney General Merrick Garland that “the indictment of a former president, perhaps candidate for president, would arguably tear the country apart” as a promotion for their evening news. 

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How this differs from Sen. Lindsey Graham threatening that arresting Trump would result in “riots in the street” is, at best, a matter of degree. Very small degree. And the fact that news sources are pitching this as these threats should be considered before applying the law to Trump lends them both undeserved seriousness and credibility.

The CNN article from White House reporter Stephen Collinson takes pains to point out that Graham’s call to violence and President Joe Biden pointing out the growing threat are “hardly comparable.” But then it barely misses a beat before doing exactly that, treating both the normalization of political violence on the right and the raising of concerns from the left as if they are both responsible. 

Especially because just one paragraph in the latter article insists that “an already toxic political atmosphere ahead of November’s midterms has been further poisoned by the furious reaction to the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence” without bothering to mention that the responsibility for that search lies with Trump.

On Biden’s statement that the MAGA movement is moving toward “semi-fascism,” Collinson calls it both “an extraordinary thing to say” and an example of how “standards of decorum have been shattered.” He then devotes three full paragraphs to explaining how Biden’s statement is a problem for Democrats, in part because “Republicans will likely use the President’s comment to argue he harbors an elitist’s disdain for swathes of conservative Americans who abhor violence.”

Which conservative Americans would that be? Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger? Can anyone name two more? 

This is in an article that compared to most coverage of Republican threats is not that bad. Collinson points out that the threat from the right is demonstrably real. He highlights the way that Republicans are using these threats of violence as part of their campaigns (“I reject violence. I’m not calling for violence. Violence is not the answer, but I’m just telling you,” said Graham … while predicting violence). He acknowledges that the threat of Republican violence is demonstrably realAnd yet he continues to underscore Biden calling attention to the threat as if it’s part of the threat.

Consider this single sentence:


Predictions of violence and warnings of extremism on the march are especially jarring given the mayhem that unfolded after the last time America voted for president, when insurrectionists incited by Trump ransacked the US Capitol and threatened to fracture the bedrock institutions of American democracy.

At first glance, this accurately points out that Trump supporters engaged in violence and attempted to overturn the election in 2020. But what is “and warnings of extremism on the march” doing in this sentence? No one would write this:

Predictions of more murders and warnings over the danger of strangulation are especially jarring should Green River Killer Gary Ridgway come up for parole given that the last time he was free he killed at least 48 people.

They wouldn’t write that because “warnings over the danger” are not part of the threat. Just like “warnings of extremism on the march” are not part of the threat.

To put it even more simply, “Threats of arson and warnings that fire is hot are concerning because the people making the threats tried to burn the house down before” does not make sense. It’s drawing a parallel that’s not just inaccurate, but distracting.

If the article had said “Predictions of violence are especially jarring given the mayhem that unfolded after the last time America voted for president, when insurrectionists incited by Trump ransacked the U.S. Capitol and threatened to fracture the bedrock institutions of American democracy,” it would have covered the same ground without implying that part of the issue is caused by people warning against the threat. 

All of this is still way more subtle than Holt challenging Merrick over whether prosecuting Trump was so scary that they should just give him an “all the crime you want” pass. But the way the article stretches on and solicits comments from Republican candidates in order to devote at least as much time to the idea that Biden’s statement is divisive and a boon for Republicans in the fall is far from subtle. The only politician who gets a chance to speak in the article is GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, who gets two paragraphs to repeat the idea that Biden is wrong to suggest that America can’t just hug it out.

It’s perfectly fine to point out that Biden said the MAGA movement was verging on “semi-fascism.” It’s even fine to report on how the members of that movement are upset at being (accurately) called out. It’s not okay to suggest that pointing out a threat somehow makes that threat more dangerous.

Threats have to be challenged. Not ignored. 

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Exclusive: DNC Makes South Carolina the State with First Democratic Primary –




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#DNC #South #Carolina #State #Democratic #Primary

The DNC made a tremendously important and long-needed change to its primary calendar by removing the almost exclusively white state (the one that sets expectations and can drive half of the candidates out of the race) back in the calendar and moving up a state with a large black population. Finally, the all-important first primary “looks like the Democratic party.”

According to the Associated Press:

Democrats voted Friday to remove Iowa as the leadoff state on the presidential nominating calendar and replace it with South Carolina starting in 2024, a dramatic shakeup championed by President Joe Biden to better reflect the party’s deeply diverse electorate.

Joe Biden would not be president if it were not for the strong black turnout in South Carolina. Donald Trump would likely be president. The close election showed that it is more likely than not that Joe Biden was the only Democrat who could beat Donald Trump.

The Democratic National Committee’s rule-making arm made the move to strip Iowa from the position it has held for more than four decades after technical meltdowns sparked chaos and marred results of the state’s 2020 caucus.

The change also comes after a long push by some of the party’s top leaders to start choosing a president in states that are less white, especially given the importance of Black voters as Democrats’ most loyal electoral base.

Without the loyalty of black voters, the Democrats would win very few elections. Again, given the fact that when fields have 12 candidates, perhaps half of them will drop out of the race after the first caucus or primary. Thus, in a state whose interest is primarily in agriculture and that damned ethanol question that was so important for so long, half the candidates are out over narrow Democratic issues


It was time to start in a state that shared a wide number of issues important to Democrats, women’s rights, civil rights generally, taxes on the middle class or poor, student loan reform, legalization of marijuana… If we are going to dump up to half the candidates based on their performance in the first contest, then it should be a contest about issues that pertain to all Democrats, especially our core base, our most loyal base, Black Americans.

This is a move to be celebrated.

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Exclusive: Democrats go to war with Iowa and New Hampshire over 2024 –




Democrats go to war with Iowa and New Hampshire over 2024

#Democrats #war #Iowa #Hampshire

For a half-century, the presidential nominating calendar has been regular and predictable. But, on Friday, the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the DNC decided to blow up the 2024 primary process.

The committee approved a new primary schedule that ended Iowa’s status as an early state and calls into question New Hampshire’s place on the calendar.

The calendar was proposed by President Joe Biden earlier this week and greatly diminishes, if not ends, the longstanding places of Iowa and New Hampshire in Democratic nominating contests. Both were states where Biden did poorly in 2020. In a letter proposing the change in the calendar, though, Biden emphasized the need to ensure voters of color had a bigger role in the nominating process.

The new schedule puts South Carolina first on Saturday, February 3, 2024, a move that came as a surprise to top Democrats in the Palmetto State. The draft calendar then has New Hampshire and Nevada three days later on February 6, followed by Georgia on February 13 and Michigan on February 27. The full Democratic National Committee will almost certainly ratify this calendar early next year.

This means that the Democratic nominating contest will begin with South Carolina, the only state where Tom Steyer in 2020 and Al Sharpton in 2004 have finished in the top three in a presidential primary. However, it’s likely to set off a chaotic scramble over which state goes first.

National political parties don’t determine when states hold their nominating contests. That’s the subject of state law. However, national parties are fully within their rights to sanction states that don’t follow their rules for how to hold nominating contests, or throw out the results altogether.

In advance of rolling out this new schedule, the Democratic Party already added more teeth to its ability to crack down on states that buck the DNC to hold nominating contests earlier in the primary. Recent rules changes give the party more latitude to crack down on candidates who campaign in states that hold unsanctioned contests.

In setting the calendar, the resolution passed Friday also requires state elected officials to pledge to abide by DNC rules, otherwise they lose their position as an early state. In Georgia, it requires Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state, to certify that he will hold the state’s presidential primary on February 13. This would either require Georgia to hold two entirely separate presidential primaries or for the Peach State to jump the line in the Republican nominating process. A spokesperson for Raffensperger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Georgia is a sideshow in this. The real targets are Iowa and New Hampshire, which have been the first two states in Democratic presidential primaries for generations and have perennially been the target of resentment as a result. Removing Iowa from the calendar accomplishes that cleanly. The state has been an obvious target since its fiasco in reporting results during the 2020 caucuses, which were in part the result of rules changes imposed on the Hawkeye State by the national Democratic Party. Scott Brennan, a DNC member from Iowa, told Vox, “We’re disappointed and believe the calendar passed ignores a vast swath of the US. There is no pre-window state in the Central or Mountain time zones. “


In the Republican presidential primary, Iowa is maintaining its traditional role as the first nominating contest and there is no reason that state Democrats couldn’t ignore the DNC and go at the same time. The entire national media will already be camped out in the state and any contest will receive significant coverage even if the caucuses would amount to no more than a glorified beauty contest.

The new rules also implicitly target New Hampshire and set up a conflict where the state legally cannot abide by the DNC’s rules. Under state law, New Hampshire’s primary must go first in the nation, seven days before any other state. (Iowa does not conflict with this because a caucus is deemed sufficiently different from a primary.)

The DNC resolution going into effect would require New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and Jason Osborne, the state’s GOP House majority leader, not only to agree to repeal the state’s first-in-the-nation primary law but also to change state election law to allow more widespread early voting. In a statement, Sununu said, “This was Joe Biden’s decision, and once again, he blew it. … The good news is that our primary will still be first and the nation will not be held to a substandard process dictated by Joe Biden and the Democrat Party.” Osborne simply sarcastically told Vox, “Yes, I have a letter for the DNC. Looking forward to sending it.”

Joe Sweeney, the former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party and a state representative there, told Vox, “I would say it’s likelier President Biden comes back to New Hampshire to campaign again after all this than any New Hampshire Republican caving to DNC bullying regarding our FITN law … New Hampshire won’t be bullied by DC and certainly not by the DNC Rules Committee or the president.”

Ray Buckley, the longtime chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, succinctly told reporters, “We’ll have first in the nation, and whatever sanctions they have, so be it.”

This sets up a spiraling conflict over the calendar and opens up the possibility for other states to go rogue and move up. There is precedent for this. In advance of the 2008 presidential primary, the final calendar wasn’t set until December 2007, and even then there was conflict over Michigan and Florida going rogue and holding primaries in defiance of the DNC, which was not resolved until May 31, 2008, at the very end of the primary process.

But this is a year in which conflict over the calendar has comparatively few consequences. If, as expected, Biden runs for reelection, he is unlikely to face a serious challenge for the nomination. This means that any conflict over the calendar will happen during an election that is likely to be a fait accompli.

But what it does mean is that there is a precedent set in advance of 2028, which will be a wide-open field, to minimize the role of Iowa and New Hampshire. It will open the door for new fights, over exactly what states come first, that will happen with potential candidates posturing for the calendar to help them.

For all the criticisms of Iowa and New Hampshire as too white or too rural or too unrepresentative of the Democratic Party, their place on the calendar at least provided certainty and an electorate that, for better or worse, was accustomed to vetting presidential candidates. That’s not the case moving forward. The next competitive Democratic presidential primary will happen without any preset calendar or clear rules of the road.

In the meantime, the Republican presidential calendar is set and a host of candidates will show up in Iowa and New Hampshire as usual in advance of 2024, while the national Democratic Party might go to war with the state parties in both states.

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Exclusive: The Midterms Were a Hollow Victory for Democrats –




The Midterms Were a Hollow Victory for Democrats

#Midterms #Hollow #Victory #Democrats

But amidst all the liberal revelry lies an uncomfortable, little-reported fact: Democrats lost the House popular vote by three points.

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