VP hopeful JD Vance called Trump ‘America’s Hitler.’ What changed?

If you want to be happy in your relationship, find someone who looks at you the way Sen. J.D. Vance looks at Donald Trump after 34 felony convictions, a monthslong coup plot, a deadly insurrection, multiple stolen top secret documents, and a $354 million business fraud judgment. And let’s not forget an $83 million sexual abuse/defamation judgment and endless games of “would you rather?” involving shark attacks and Joe Biden’s woke, America-destroying flotilla of Evil pleasure boats.

As we now know, Vance is among the hopefuls vying to serve as Trump’s next mewling toady/vice president/volcano sacrifice, and so he’s sticking to the Trump bandwagon like white on Mike Pence. But he wasn’t always a squealing MAGA-phone.

Of course, Vance is currently one of Trump’s staunchest defenders. He pretended to be outraged by Trump’s recent criminal conviction and is so hopelessly debauched he’s even trying to claim Donald Trump Jr. is a real boy. (He recently xweeted that Don Jr. is “one of the best people I’ve met in politics.” Which is a little like saying convicted murderer Ed Gein was a widely respected giant in the textile industry.) 

But as with many Republicans, Vance’s Trump-focused sycophancy represents a stark departure from the way he used to describe America’s Hitler. For instance, he once worried that Trump, if elected, could turn out to be “America’s Hitler.”

Well, now, as the author of “Hillbilly Elegy”—a book Trump has totally read and/or forced his Diet Coke gofer to search through for mentions of his name—seeks the inside track to the GOP VP nomination, CNN is reporting that Vance’s past criticism of Trump was even “more widespread and scathing than previously known.”


A majority of the newly uncovered social media activity dates from the last five months of the 2016 presidential campaign. They include Vance liking a number of anti-Trump posts on Twitter, including those criticizing Trump’s immigration policies, acknowledging antisemitism from Trump supporters, questioning the integrity of voting for Trump over Clinton and even raising concerns over Trump having access to the country’s nuclear codes as president.

In February 2016, Vance liked a tweet featuring a photo of Trump, two women and O.J. Simpson with the caption, “Here is an old picture of one of USA’s most hated, villainous, douchey celebs. Also in picture: OJ Simpson.”


While promoting his memoir and appearing on news programs in 2016, Vance liked a series of tweets calling then-candidate Trump a “monster” and a “nemesis of the GOP.” He also liked a tweet acknowledging “threats and derogatory terms Trump supporters hurl at Jews.” He even liked a tweet from CNN anchor Jake Tapper criticizing Trump’s tweet about a woman’s appearance amidst then-first lady Melania Trump’s campaign against cyberbullying.

And that’s not all! According to CNN’s review, during the roiling “Access Hollywood” controversy prior to the 2016 election, Vance also liked a tweet that read, “Maybe the Central Park 5 could take out a full-page ad to condemn the coddling of thug real estate barons who commit serial sexual assault,” referring to Trump’s admission on tape that he, well, commits serial sexual assault.

In a 2016 interview with Charlie Rose, Vance was particularly blunt about Trump’s shit-flinging howler monkey of a political career: “I’m a Never Trump guy,” he said. “I never liked him.” And in another 2016 tweet, Vance simply stated, in reference to Trump, “My god what an idiot.”

So what happened? Did the scales suddenly fall from this Yale Law School graduate’s eyes, allowing him to see that, whatever Trump’s flaws, we desperately need a leader with the courage to address the twin Damoclean scimitars of killer boat batteries and whale-murdering windmills?

Of course not. Vance clearly has the smarts to know Trump is an anti-democratic disaster for this country. He just doesn’t have the courage to call it out. Which, these days, simply means he’s an elected Republican.

The adults who often restrained Trump during his first go-around have long since left the building, and his next administration would be marked by a nonstop cavalcade of Stephen Millers and J.D. Vances: a toxic mix of true believers and ass-kissers who either push Trump to be more extreme and cruel, or simply go along with any fool thing he wants to do, whether legal or not.

Trump’s past statements and actions—as well as his exhaustively documented character flaws—make it clear that he’ll accept nothing less than his VP pick’s groveling gratitude and immortal soul, so Trump’s running mate is bound to be marginally less dignified no matter what anyone says or does. But that doesn’t mean elected Republicans who clearly know better need to go along with this sham. Let Trump choose between Mike Lindell or among the small handful of other prominent Republicans who actually believe him.

In fact, every formerly democracy-believing Republican—whether they’re up for the VP slot or not—should be pushing back on Trump at every opportunity.

But that is not the case. This unblinking loyalty is a huge problem, of course, because more than any other president—or elected official, for that matter—Trump needs people around him to push back on his worst impulses. We’ve seen credible reporting that Trump wanted to nuke a hurricane; build a moat at the border with alligators in it; shoot migrants in the legs; attack Mexico and North Korea while trying to blame it on someone else; shoot Americans protesting the murder of George Floyd; and more.

Meanwhile, his fascist plans for the future—which he proudly shared during an April Time magazine interview—augur an existential American crisis. Unless we stop him.

Sadly, any remaining hopes for a Republican come-to-Jesus moment are clearly misplaced. Even Sen. Mitch McConnell, who unequivocally blamed Trump for the “disgraceful” acts that led to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, has now declared his support for the ocher hoaxer

The best you’ll find by way of GOP pushback these days is Sen. Lisa Murkowski essentially saying she wouldn’t attend Trump’s Thursday meeting with Republican senators because she’s maybe-probably washing her hair.

Lisa Murkowski not going to Trump meeting with GOP senators on Thursday. “I have a conflict,” she said. She’s one of the handful of GOP senators who haven’t endorsed Trump — and voted to convict him in impeachment trial after Jan. 6

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 11, 2024

Of course, rescuing the country from a wannabe tyrant is a heavy lift—and we’re being forced to do this shit for the second time in four years—but as Vance, et al., have made abundantly clear, we can expect no help from the Grand Old Party, because they’ve long since flushed their dignity in exchange for a seat at the incorrigible kids’ table.

So it’s up to the rest of us—i.e., Democrats, independents, and non-MAGA Republicans—to save democracy. Again.

It sure would be nice to get a helping hand from a Republican not named Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger for once, but as a wise old owl turd once said, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want

We’ve done this before, and we’ll do it again. Believe it. And, please, do whatever you can in your power to make it so.


Trumpers want mandatory military service so Americans have 'skin in the game'

Kristi Noem is out. Doug Burgum is up. Trump's VP shortlist gets shorter

Hopium Chronicles' Simon Rosenberg joins Markos to discuss the “red wave-ification” of the economy and how prepared Democrats are for November. There is still work to do but we have a better candidate—and we have the edge.

Daily Kos’ Postcards to Swing States campaign is back, and I just signed up to help. Please join me! Let’s do this, patriots! Democracy won’t defend itself. 

The GOP’s Texas platform is bonkers. You should see the rest of the party

Sure, the Republican Party is overwhelmingly backing a convicted felon, confirmed sexual assailant, business fraud, insurrectionist, and (alleged!) documents thief whose most endearing personality trait is his rascally inability to stop quoting Hitler, but have you seen what’s going on in Texas lately?

The Lone Star State, which has continually returned a criminally indicted attorney general to statewide office, is now looking to be a laboratory of new, exciting ideas, like “what if we shove all these unlabeled lab chemicals in a Hefty bag, light it on fire, and then stand around and see what happens?”

To read the Texas GOP’s recently passed, deeply un-American platform is to hate it—particularly if you’re a progressive ... or a moderate … or a moderate conservative who either has, knows someone with, or knows of someone with a womb.

As Karen Tumulty wrote in The Washington Post:

Just a few of the platform’s planks: that the Bible should be taught in public schools, with chaplains on hand “to counsel and give guidance from a traditional biblical perspective based on Judeo-Christian principles.” That noncitizens who are legal residents of this country should be deported if they are arrested for participating in a protest that turns violent. That name changes to military bases should be reversed to “publicly honor the southern heroes.” That doctors who perform abortions should be charged with homicide. That the United States should withdraw from the United Nations and that the international organization should be removed from U.S. soil.

Holy Mike Johnson! It’s enough to make you swallow your own tongue, assuming it wasn’t cut out years ago by your local Christofascists for uttering the sacred name of Barron Trump. What’s next, thought crimes? It won’t be long before Republicans seek to jail ordinary Americans for looking at pornographic images of consenting adults—or for not looking at pornographic images of Hunter Biden. (If Covenant Eyes hasn’t yet tweaked its filter to accommodate lurid photos of Hunter Biden, it really doesn’t understand its audience and should probably just shut down now.) 

And that’s not all! If you’re gobsmackingly horrified by the above, well, you should see what they want to do to democracy in Texas.

As reported in the Texas Tribune:

Perhaps the most consequential plank calls for a constitutional amendment to require that candidates for statewide office carry a majority of Texas’ 254 counties to win an election, a model similar to the U.S. electoral college.

Under current voting patterns, in which Republicans routinely win in the state’s rural counties, such a requirement would effectively end Democrats’ chances of winning statewide office. In 2022, Gov. Greg Abbott carried 235 counties, while Democrat Beto O’Rourke carried most of the urban, more populous counties and South Texas counties. Statewide, Abbott won 55% of the popular vote while O’Rourke carried 44%

So to review, Texas Republicans wants to jail abortion doctors while ensuring Greg Abbott can’t possibly lose the governorship, no matter how many killer mutant Sea-Monkeys he pours into the Rio Grande.

All of that is suitably horrifying, of course—and Texas Republicans are admittedly pushing the envelope further than other state parties—but Republican extremism and anti-democratic thinking have been running rampant of late, in case you somehow hadn’t noticed. And that’s a big opportunity for big-D Democrats.

First and foremost, the GOP is a party that embraces a literal felon who faces three more felony cases, all of which are arguably stronger than his first one.

It’s a party that, in newly red redoubts like Ohio, is brazenly attempting to thwart the will of voters on reproductive rights, vowing to do “everything in [its] power” to uphold restrictive abortion laws. 

It’s a party that’s rushed to pass new restrictive voting laws in response to Trump’s insistence that the racist, eternally demagoguing, pro-Putin candidate deserves to win every time.

It’s a party that, to a startling degree, has embraced and protected Putin, as well as openly autocratic Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

It’s a party that, post-Dobbs, has eagerly passed new, restrictive abortion laws, even as it tries to pretend it’s moderate on the issue. 

It’s a party that keeps hinting it will take an axe to Social Security and Medicare, which remain vital to the well-being of millions of Americans.

It’s a party that elevates ambulant absurdities like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s dog killing.

And it’s a party that’s apparently eager to ratify every fascist scheme that Trump wants to inflict on the American people. 

In other words, as Hopium Chronicles’ Simon Rosenberg tweeted, the current iteration of the Republican Party is “the ugliest thing any of us have ever seen.”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg we’re about to crash into at full speed if we’re not careful.

In 2020, the GOP neglected to release a platform in advance of its national convention, perhaps reasoning that Trump’s surpassing charm and wit were all that they needed—or perhaps worried that Trump wouldn’t read it and would wildly contradict its key planks. Or, more likely, they were worried that the GOP’s awful policies—psst, if you want to live a long, healthy life, don’t live in a red state—would actually shake people loose from their tribal fealties long enough to notice that they prefer progressive policies. (Which, to be clear, most of them do. Turns out millions of non-billionaires actually support raising taxes on billionaires. Go figure.)

Of course, despite ample evidence that the electorate as a whole has no use for GOP policy prescriptions—on abortion and a range of other topics—Republicans across the country (not just in Texas) somehow can’t resist saying the quiet parts out loud. 

I say we hand them a megaphone and encourage them to Trump front and center as often as possible. Because every time he talks, an angel vomits into a pail, and there’s only so much mess God is willing to put up with, even from his chosen one.

Daily Kos’ Postcards to Swing States campaign is back, and I just signed up to help. Please join me! Let’s do this, patriots! Democracy won’t defend itself.

Every day brings a new prognostication that is making President Joe Biden's campaign operatives worry or freak out. Is Donald Trump running away with the election? No. Not even close.

Nikki Haley suddenly has a problem with Trump’s love of dictators

With the South Carolina Republican primary approaching, Nikki Haley is revving up her attacks on presumptive nominee Donald Trump. 

On Monday, Haley repeatedly referred to Trump as a “New York City liberal” who donated to Kamala Harris. She followed that up by posting a clip of Trump’s interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartoromo where he effused about China’s President Xi Jinping, with this bold take: “Praising dictators is not normal. Make America normal again.”

Newsflash: Trump has something of a preoccupation with dictators. Maybe you think you didn’t read that right. Yes, the twice-impeached former president goes all fanboy for dictators and his history of praising tyrants like the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte goes way back. 

There was the time Trump described himself as a “big fan” of Turkey’s strongman autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Trump has called Hungarian Prime Minister (and authoritarian racist) Viktor Orban “his friend.” In fact, Trump has been throwing around Orban’s name so much that he’s mixed him up with Erdoğan.

Even when Trump’s Fox News buddy Sean Hannity attempted to help Trump walk back his praise of dictators like Vladimir Putin, Trump couldn’t help but to boast about how well he gets along with authoritarian monsters.

The good news here is that while Haley isn’t going to beat Trump and there is very little in the way of facts or logic that can seemingly penetrate the MAGA-brainscape these days, she can continue to remind independent voters of why they don’t want another round of Trump as president.

Enjoy Trump going gaga over China’s Xi Jinping.

Campaign Action

GOP congresswoman defends Trump’s Nazi talking points

Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York went on CNN Monday evening to defend Donald Trump’s recent fascist rhetoric. Specifically, Trump’s transparent use of Nazi references to racial impurity, saying things like immigration is “poisoning the blood of our country.” 

Host Abby Phillip attempted to get Malliotakis to admit that, at the very least, Trump’s repeated use of authoritarian rhetoric was worrying, reminding her that Malliotakis’ own origin story includes being the daughter of a Cuban refugee. Malliotakis didn’t see it that way:

Abby Phillip: Let's talk for a second here about the fact that Trump continuously, repeatedly uses this rhetoric that now maybe you could say the first time he didn't know the references, the parallels to authoritarians—he knows now. Why does he keep saying it over and over again?

Nicole Malliotakis: Well, look, I just think he's trying to bring attention to the issue.

Is there anyone more narrow-minded and group-thinky than a Republican lawmaker? In Malliotakis’ defense, she has maintained a rather stolid hypocrisy when it comes to immigration policy. Her 2022 campaign for the 11th District of New York consisted of attacking asylum-seekers.

What makes this an extra-special kind of hypocrisy is that Malliotakis is willing to defend the heinous rhetoric of Trump, a man she herself claimed in 2017 to have regretted voting for. Of course, that was when she was running for mayor of New York City, a place where Trump isn’t well liked.

Campaign Action

Are the handful of GOP impeachment holdouts ‘centrists’?

A new Politico story gives a sliver of fresh information on House Republicans' push to impeach Joe Biden: Not only has just one Republican member announced he will vote “no” on a planned vote to formally authorize the so-far unofficial impeachment inquiry, but of the entire caucus, all except "about a half-dozen" members are now supporting the vote.

The opposing vote is from Rep. Ken Buck. He is nobody's idea of a moderate, but he has expressed repeated unwillingness to support efforts by his own party to nullify an American election and propagate hoaxes meant to delegitimize it. (Buck is also retiring from Congress at the end of his term.)

It's Politico's framing of the half-dozen holdouts that's a bit galling.

"House GOP chips away at centrist resistance on Biden impeachment inquiry," says the Politico headline.

Not sure how you can call the half-an-egg-carton of holdouts "centrists" on this one, Politico. Those six or so representatives hail from swing districts, the site reports, so the more appropriate designation might be "cowards."

It's not centrist to be undecided on whether or not an impeachment inquiry based on not even a shred of evidence of actual wrongdoing (but a whole lot of unhinged and provably false conspiracy theories) should go forward solely because the coup-attempting Donald Trump, now indicted in four separate jurisdictions, was impeached twice and Trump's also-coup-supporting admirers have been obsessed with inflicting revenge on everyone who ever caught Trump committing  alleged crimes. No, it's just cowardice. The undecided members are trying to gauge which will cost them more votes: supporting a clearly spurious and revenge-based impeachment and infuriating swing voters, or not supporting impeachment, which will infuriate the far-right elements of their base.

It's a tough call for sure, but it's not centrist. It's just a craven attempt to govern based not on principle but instead on what will best boost their own personal interests. By the same token, you could call a pickpocket who made off with their wallets a "centrist" because they ignored laws and morality to squarely focus on "What should I do if I want to have more money?"

And this bit is just maddening:

But some moderate Republicans argue that a lack of cooperation from Hunter Biden and other family members has forced the GOP’s hand. Formalizing the investigation would boost the GOP’s leverage in its pursuit of documents and witnesses, they say, and represents just one step in the process.

Come again? Hunter Biden is showing a "lack of cooperation" in disproving an ever-shifting range of conspiracy theories, most of them disprovable by even the most basic fact-checking?

How is he supposed to "cooperate" to disprove theories that have no supporting evidence to begin with? Republican hearings have brought forward "evidence," like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's public display of Hunter nudes almost certainly obtained through criminal hacking efforts in attempts to prove who-knows-what.

How is Hunter supposed to more fully "cooperate" with that probe? Do Republicans believe he must now strip naked in front of them, live and in person?

Well, Rep. Jim Jordan probably does.

The coverage of the Republican "impeachment" drive continues to be risible because journalists continue to note the utter lack of evidence as an aside or afterthought in stories that otherwise treat the Republican effort as a credible political process simply by virtue of Republicans willing it to be.

The story here is that despite a lack of evidence that the sitting president has done even a single untoward thing in relation to his son and despite increasingly circus-like efforts to promote hoaxes after Republican investigators could find nothing else, all but seven or so House Republicans support opening an impeachment inquiry anyway in a brazenly dishonest, politically crooked attempt to redirect attention from the unequivocal crookedness of their own coup-attempting, indicted, and openly fascist party leader.

The six or so possible holdouts aren't the story. The uniform corruption that has strangled nearly the entire Republican caucus, though, continues to be the story that will best predict the possible demise of American democracy itself.


Comer isn’t even trying as Jake Tapper makes fun of his Biden conspiracy theory on live TV

Comer's latest bombshell may be his worst dud yet

Hunter Biden asks to testify publicly. House Republicans scurry away in a panic

Campaign Action

Markos and Kerry give their thoughts on what the country is facing in 2024. The Republican Party is running on losing issues like abortion and repealing the ACA—with no explanation of what they plan on replacing it with. Trump has a lot of criming to atone for, and the Republican platform remains set on destroying democracy.

Jim Jordan’s based his career on enabling Republican crimes

With Donald Trump endorsing loud ally Rep. Jim Jordan for the speakership of the House, fellow Trump ally Rep. Steve Scalise's bid for the position may look futile. The whole point of Republicanism the last few years has been to purge anyone who might refuse to do what Trump says, so anyone with House Republican membership in 2023 is almost by definition there because they have promised to govern entirely from inside Trump's colon.

But Jordan's still got to make his own case. He had a go at it Friday morning, telling CNN reporter Manu Raju that the speaker's race will come down to "who can go tell the country what we're doing."

Jim Jordan trying to pitch himself as someone who can be the chief GOP messenger as he seeks to draw a contrast with Scalise. “I think this race comes down to … who can go tell the country what we're doing,” he told me Jordan weighs in on Trump endorsement pic.twitter.com/KhKGNaoTtX

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 6, 2023

The odds are nine in 10 that you've never before heard Jordan use an indoor voice, as opposed to his usual "shrieking toddler furiously demanding to know why his diaper just got heavier" voice. In terms of telling the nation what House Republicans are doing, that would become trivially easy under a Jordan speakership. Jordan has devoted his House career to one issue above all others: letting Republicans get away with crimes.

Jordan's skill in letting people get away with crimes is how he became the shrieking voice of Republicanism that he's become. In 2018, Jordan was named by multiple former Ohio State wrestlers as one of the school officials who had been aware of the sexual molestation of athletes by team doctor Richard Strauss. Faced with multiple accusers who relayed specific instances and conversations with Jordan, Jordan loudly denied everything and reportedly pressured at least one former student to lie about it. Soon, he and his office began claiming that it was his accusers who were lying, not him.

Jordan's star began to rise immediately after that. The caucus apparently went starry-eyed at the vehemence with which Jordan attacked his accusers, and Jordan soon became the angry sweating voice of every House committee, probe, and publicity stunt he could be wedged into.

It's not overstating things to say that allowing allies to get away with crimes has been Jordan's top congressional focus. Before the sexual abuse allegations surfaced in 2018, Jordan had already become a face of the Republican obstruction of the probe into 2016 Russian election interference, dismissing federal intelligence assessments with new assertions that the probe was a political ploy by Trump-hating government officials. By 2019, he had been stuffed into the House Intelligence Committee as a temporary measure to act as "attack dog" in the House impeachment hearings resulting from Trump holding up military aid to Ukraine in order to extort anti-Biden propaganda from the Ukrainian government.

He would play similar roles until January 2021, when he joined a seditious conspiracy to nullify a constitutional election on Trump's behalf so that Trump could fraudulently declare himself the winner. Jordan was one of 126 House Republicans who signed an amicus brief to a Texas-led lawsuit asking for the results of multiple Joe Biden-won states to be declared invalid.

On Jan. 5, 2021, Jordan contacted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to promote the theory that then-Vice President Mike Pence could unilaterally block the counting of votes from Biden-won states. He is also known to have spoken "at length" with Trump on the morning of Jan. 6.

After insurrectionists had been removed from the Capitol on Jan. 6, Jordan was among those who still voted to contest the election's results.

Jordan later refused to testify about his own role and communications during the coup attempt, going so far as to defy a congressional subpoena demanding it.

Campaign Action

Jordan was almost certainly aware that the acts he helped facilitate were criminal. He was named as one of seven House Republicans who had probed the White House about potential pardons for House members who had facilitated what became a violent attempted coup.

His role in the post-failed-coup Congress has further congealed around support for Trump's criminal acts. When Trump was indicted in New York over hush money payments made during his 2016 campaign, Jordan demanded prosecutors' documents in the case—while coordinating his actions with Trump himself. Jordan similarly demanded the evidence against Trump be turned over after Trump was indicted in Georgia for his attempted election tampering.

Against the two federal indictments against Trump, Jordan's threats shift into the realm of the bizarre. He has thrown his weight behind plans to block funding from the federal departments and agencies behind the indictments. If the only way to keep Trump out of jail is to disband federal law enforcement efforts wholesale, Jordan and other coup supporters are willing to consider it.

It would be brazenly close to a criminal racketeering scheme if Jordan did not have the unique protections of Congress to hide behind. And all of that stands apart from his other major new effort: to impeach Biden or indict members of his family, even with faked evidence or none at all.

Jordan's view of law and order is consistent. For at least three decades, when faced with a crime committed by an ally, Jordan has sought to ignore it, cover it up, and attack those who discovered it. Against his enemies, there seems no evidence too flimsy for Jordan to claim as proof. It's an unambiguously fascist approach, to be sure, but in starker terms, it is simply crooked as hell. Jordan is on board with whatever criminality his allies may attempt and can be counted on to sabotage justice wherever he can.

There's a very good case to be made that it's Jordan who is the crookedest politician in Washington, D.C. Not Rep. George Santos, indicted though he may be. Not Sen. Bob Menendez, hidden gold bars or no. Jordan's acts to immunize Republican criminality don't stem from schemes of self-enrichment; he appears to truly believe that Republicans ought to be able to commit crimes for the sake of the Republican "movement," and that the movement is obliged to sabotage probes and indictments of those that do.

So that's what Republicans will be "doing" under a Jordan speakership: sabotaging laws outright to allow criminality in their own ranks. It's what he's based his career on. It's the reason Trump counts him as an ally. It's why Republicans embraced him and elevated him to begin with. And if the party is bent on becoming a criminal enterprise and coup-supporting opponents of democracy itself, they would be hard pressed to find a better spokesman than an abuse-enabling, crime-defending, unabashed crook.


House Republicans demanding Bragg's evidence against Trump have been coordinating with Trump himself

House Republicans swiftly act to obstruct on Trump’s behalf

It just got worse: Trump allegedly leaked classified nuclear submarine secrets to Mar-a-Lago guest

Media buries the lede (again) on Biden’s urgent address on dangers of Trump, fascism

On Thursday, Joe Biden gave one of the most important speeches of his presidency. But because it didn’t include bitter complaints about low-flow toilets, his secret plan to avoid World War II, or stream-of-consciousness musings on perennial kitchen table issues like whale-murdering windmills, the legacy media largely gave it a pass.

And though the speech at times focused on the honor and heroism of Biden’s late friend, Arizona Sen. John McCain, at no point did Biden get confused and forget that he never ran against him

What Biden did do was give a fierce defense of democracy, the Constitution, and American values—all while name-checking Donald Trump and the extreme MAGA movement that threatens the basic foundations of our republic. Unfortunately, he didn’t do it while falling over on his bike, so most Americans still don’t know about it.

RELATED STORY: Biden warns Trump is an existential threat to democracy. The media whiffs it

You’d think the current president (rightly) calling out his top political rival for being a power-mad, wannabe tinpot dictator who disdains the Constitution would merit searing, front-page coverage across the legacy media. But you’d be wrong.

Biden’s speech failed to make the front page of either The Washington Post or The New York Times, proving once again that these venerable leading lights of our fourth estate—and the herds of pundits and reporters who follow their lead—are still not taking the clear and present danger a plainly fascist Trump poses seriously enough. On the bright side, there's nothing on the Times’ front page about Hillary's emails today.

Yes, @washingtonpost, “Democracy Dies in the Darkness.” You know where else it can wither? A3, inside, which is where you buried the fiercest, highest stakes pro-democracy speech I’ve heard from a president in my lifetime.

— Jeff Sharlet (@JeffSharlet) September 29, 2023

So because American newspapers are tending to shoehorn Biden’s rhetorical triumphs somewhere between The Jumble and “Marmaduke”—if not in “Marmaduke”—these days, we in the non-legacy media are forced to take up the slack.

Campaign Action

You can watch the speech yourself or read the full transcript, but there are some takeaways that simply need to be repeated here verbatim, because to quote the guy who’s doing his level best to save democracy from a largely somnambulant media, “This is a big fucking deal.” 

At one point, Biden lends some outside perspective to the MAGA stew we currently find ourselves swimming in. As frogs in boiling water, we may no longer experience the right’s resurgent fascism as the four-alarm fire it is, but the rest of the world sees what’s happening in America very clearly.

For centuries, the American Constitution has been a model for the world, with other countries adopting “We the People” as their North Star as well. But as we know, we know how damaged our institutions of democracy—the judiciary, the legislature, the executive—have become in the eyes of the American people, even the world, from attacks from within the past few years.

I know virtually every major world leader. That’s what I did when I was a senator, as vice president, and now. Everywhere I go in the world—I’ve met now with over a hundred heads of state of the nations of the world—everywhere I go, they look and they ask the question, “Is it going to be okay?”

Think about this: The first meeting I attended of the G7—the seven wealthiest nations in the world—in Europe, the NATO meeting, I sat down—it was in ... January, after being elected—so late January, early February—and it was in England. And I sat down, and I said, “America is back.” And Macron looked at me, and he said, “Mr. President, for how long—for how long?”

And then, the chancellor of Germany said, “Mr. President, what would you think if you picked up the paper tomorrow—tomorrow, the London Times—and it said a thousand people broke down the doors of Parliament, marched, and killed two bobbies in order to overthrow an election of the new prime minister? What would you think then? What would America think?”

What would America think? We’d think the fish and chip shops were using lead-based newsprint to wrap their wares again. But beyond that, we’d rightly be horrified.

But that wasn’t even the biggest takeaway from the speech. Our current president also directly confronted his predecessor—and, by extension, the entire MAGA movement—over his ongoing attempts to remake this country into something more like Vladimir Putin’s Russia than LBJ’s Great Society or Ronald Reagan’s shining city on a hill.

They’re pushing a notion the defeated former President expressed when he was in office and believes applies only to him. And this is a dangerous notion: This president is above the law, with no limits on power.

Trump says the Constitution gave him, quote, “the right to do whatever he wants as President,” end of quote. I’ve never even heard a president say that in jest. Not guided by the Constitution or by common service and decency toward our fellow Americans but by vengeance and vindictiveness.

We see the headlines. Quote, “sweeping expansion of presidential power.” Their goal to, quote, “alter the balance of power by increasing the president’s authority over every part of the federal government,” end of quote.

What do they intend to do once they erode the constitutional order of checks and balances and separation of powers? Limit the independence of federal agencies and put them under the thumb of a president? Give the President the power to refuse to spend money that Congress has appropriated if he doesn’t like what it’s being spent for? ... Get rid of longstanding protections for civil servants?


Just consider these as actual quotes from MAGA—the MAGA movement. Quote, “I am your retribution.” “Slitting throats” of civil servants, replacing them with extreme political cronies. MAGA extremists proclaim support for law enforcement only to say, “We …”—quote, “We must destroy the FBI.”

It’s not one person. It’s the controlling element of the House Republican Party.

Whitewash attacks of Jan. 6 by calling the spearing and stomping of police a ... quote, a “legitimate political discourse.”

Did you ever think you’d hear leaders of political parties in the United States of America speak like that? Seizing power, concentrating power, attempting to abuse power, purging and packing key institutions, spewing conspiracy theories, spreading lies for profit and power to divide America in every way, inciting violence against those who risk their lives to keep America safe, weaponizing against the very soul of who we are as Americans.

This MAGA threat is the threat to the brick and mortar of our democratic institutions. But it’s also a threat to the character of our nation … that gives our Constitution life, that binds us together as Americans in common cause.

Biden also happened to notice another story that should have generated screaming front-page headlines in every major newspaper in the country as well as blanket condemnations from every sitting lawmaker, regardless of party:

Tomorrow, I have the honor of overseeing the change of responsibilities of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States military from one genuine hero and patriot, Gen. Mark Milley, to another, Gen. CQ Brown—both defining leaders of our time.

And yet, here is what you hear from MAGA extremists about the retiring patriot general honoring his oath to the Constitution: quote, he’s “a traitor,” end of quote. “In times gone by, the punishment…”—quote, “In times gone by, the punishment would’ve been death,” end of quote.

This is the United States of America. This is the United States of America.

And although I don’t believe even a majority of Republicans think that, the silence is deafening.

In case you somehow missed it (you could be forgiven, because the media didn’t cover it with nearly the urgency it deserved), the quote Biden references about Milley deserving the death penalty came from Trump, who was upset that Milley failed to show him the abject loyalty he thought he deserved.

RELATED STORY: Gen. Mark Milley responds to Trump's threats while the press largely looks away

Seems like a really important story, but then the nation’s biggest outlets can’t thoroughly cover all of a fascist presidential candidate’s fascist statements, can they? You need to balance them with horse race coverage about the advanced age of the man who stands as our sole remaining bulwark against the return of an avowedly authoritarian former president. It’s just basic fairness.

In short, Biden’s speech was clear, forceful, urgent, at times funny—Biden is a charming, witty guy, despite all the chatter about his age—and most importantly, grounded in the reality of our current fraught political climate. He also showed genuine emotion when talking about the cancer that claimed the lives of both his friend McCain and his son Beau. And he was funny and gracious when responding to a group of hecklers who tried to interrupt his speech, offering to speak with them after his address instead of, say, urging members of the audience to “knock the crap out of them.”

As Biden stated in his address, “We’re at an inflection point in our history. One of those moments that not only happens once every several generations, it happens once every eight or nine generations, where the decisions made in the short period of time we’re in now are going to determine the course of this country and the world for the next six or seven decades. So you, me, every American who is committed to preserving our democracy and our constitutional protections, we carry a special responsibility. We have to stand up for American values embedded in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, because we know the MAGA extremists have already proven they won’t.”

Clearly, Biden knows what time it is. If only legacy media—which stands to lose the most under a second Trump term—would take a side. It’s okay to take a side if that side is pro-democracy and anti-fascist. No, really. Preserving our ever-fragile democracy is actually that important.

RELATED STORY: Media complicit in Trump's false claims about wooing union members


This recent commentary from MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan on “Donald Trump’s Extremely Fascist Week” is a must-watch. Though maybe you’re not the one who needs to watch it—unless, of course, you happen to be one of the key decision-makers at The Washington Post or The New York Times.

Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE

Biden warns Trump is an existential threat to democracy. The media whiffs it

In advance of his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, President Joe Biden traveled to New York on Sunday and spent time at a fundraiser in a Broadway theater Monday night. In front of supporters there, he hammered at the threat Donald Trump presents to the nation's democracy.

“Let there be no question, Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. And I will always defend, protect and fight for our democracy,” Biden said, according to the Associated Press.

CNN has more from the speech:

“I will not side with dictators like (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. Maybe Trump and his MAGA friends can bow down and praise him, but I won’t,” Biden said.

“I don’t believe America is a dark, negative nation, a nation of carnage driven by anger, fear and revenge. Donald Trump does,” he added later.

Citing Trump’s vow if reelection to act as “retribution” for his supporters, Biden asked: “Did you ever think you’d hear a president of the United States speak like that? Well, I believe we are a hopeful, optimistic nation driven by the proposition that everyone deserves a shot.”

CNN describes the speech as "some of his fiercest condemnation to date" of coup conspirator Trump, but none of Biden's remarks seem especially controversial. The AP itself has reported on Trump and his allies’ plan to overhaul the government on authoritarian premises. Trump has repeatedly told crowds he was their "retribution," including at a Waco, Texas, rally that coincided with the 30th anniversary of the deadly Branch Davidian standoff. On a fundamental level, one cannot plausibly argue that a man who organized a mob of known-violent supporters, refused to support their disarming, and had them march on the Capitol in an attempt to block the certification of his opponent's election victory is not a dangerous threat to democracy itself.

Trump is pressing for fascist revolution, and nothing Biden said at the fundraiser is false. But instead of acknowledging that, the media writes stories that play off the potential ensconcing of an authoritarian cultist as one of many competing election factors. Here's the AP's take:

It was the among the president’s strongest rebukes of the Republican front-runner and former president, who is facing criminal charges for his role in the effort to overturn the 2020 election. And it comes as the political pressure is ramping up from Republicans in the House who have opened an impeachment inquiry into Biden in an effort to tie him to his son Hunter’s business dealings and distract from Trump’s legal peril.

Biden said he wanted to send the “strongest and most powerful message possible, that political violence in America is never never never acceptable.”

What the hell is that?

On one hand, "criminal charges for [Trump's] role in the effort to overturn the 2020 election." On the other hand, Biden is facing an "impeachment inquiry"—one that has editorially been determined to be a House Republican attempt to "distract from Trump's legal peril," even as the reporting excludes the crucial detail that the allegations against Biden are, to all available evidence, utterly false.

CNN's version is no better. "Biden takes on Trump and age questions in new fundraiser speech," goes the article’s headline. The first paragraph focuses on Biden accusing Trump of being "determined to destroy democracy." But paragraph two brings us the apparently similarly important news that:

Biden also sought to rebut chronic questions about his age, claiming his long experience in Washington gave him the wisdom to steer the nation forward.

Ah. On the one hand, a potential end to democracy. And on the other, Biden referenced attacks on his age. You can see how both of those things would perk up political journalism's ears to roughly the same extent.

On the same day Biden made these remarks, we learned that Trump has been using classified documents as scratch paper to pass messages to his assistant. It's the sort of buffoonish incompetence or intentional criminality—it's unclear which—that should disqualify anyone from government service.

If press rooms can recognize that the House Republican "impeachment inquiry" of Biden is a straight-up attempt to "distract" from all the crimes Trump's accused of, then the rest of it should follow. That means the House Republican attempt is crooked. That means the party itself, or at least its most powerful members, are attempting themselves to subvert democracy by propagating hoaxes.

Follow the ball, here, reporters. Yes, we grant you that Biden is slightly older than his also-old opponent. But what is the thing future historians will be talking about when chronicling this election and its outcome? What are the threads that will be weaved together to explain these times, presuming a future Republican Party allows history books to accurately record them?

It isn't poll numbers on how many Americans think Joe Biden is old, CNN. It's not a few paragraphs tacked on about Biden's "tepid fundraising schedule," AP, after getting bored with Biden's warnings about our imperiled democracy a mere half-dozen paragraphs in. Figure this out.

Sign the petition: Trump attempted a coup on January 6. He is a clear & present danger to democracy


Trump used classified notecards to write to-do lists for his Mar-a-Lago assistant

Failure to televise Trump’s federal trials will unleash flood of MAGA conspiracy theories

The press needs to stop pretending Trump’s word salads amount to policy thoughts

Kerry talks with Drew Linzer, director of the online polling company Civiqs. Drew tells us what the polls say about voters’ feelings toward President Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and what the results would be if the two men were to, say … run against each other for president in 2024. Oh yeah, Drew polled to find out who thinks Donald Trump is guilty of the crimes he’s been indicted for, and whether or not he should see the inside of a jail cell.

Political journalists boost Republican nonsense—and sabotage democracy

Once again, the fundamental crisis in America’s political journalism is an unwillingness to confront corruption—or even to recognize it. Uncritically repeating politically motivated hoaxes is a corrupt act, one that sabotages democracy by depriving citizens of the facts necessary to make democratic decisions.

A new CNN story is indicative of this very problem, so let’s rip it to pieces and see what we can learn. The article is "McCarthy starts to plot Biden impeachment strategy while GOP skeptics remain,” and it is a bog-standard inside look at the politics of the Republican Party’s attempt to further its propagandistic narratives.

The article tells us that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has "privately told" Republicans he plans to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden "by the end of September." And yet, despite setting up an array of committees and subcommittees for Trump's most-loyal toadies to probe Biden and his family, the vengeance squads continue to present only nebulous theories and claims that have already been disproven. This presents McCarthy with a problem.

The article continues:

But leadership recognizes that the entire House Republican conference is not yet sold on the politically risky idea of impeachment. That’s why one of the biggest lingering questions – and something Republicans have been discussing in recent weeks – is whether they would need to hold a floor vote to formally authorize their inquiry, sources say. There is no constitutional requirement that they do so, and Republicans do not currently have the 218 votes needed to open an impeachment inquiry.

Skipping the formal vote, which would be a tough one for many of the party’s more vulnerable and moderate members, would allow Republicans to get the ball rolling on an inquiry while giving leadership more time to convince the rest of the conference to get on board with impeachment.

In other words, with no clear evidence of wrongdoing, House Republicans in swing districts don't want to commit to an impeachment based on the murky say-so of the chamber’s conspiracy cranks. So, to make his deadline, McCarthy plans to simply skip that vote if he must and launch the inquiry anyway.

The issue with this article is not what it covers but how it covers it. All this information is presented as a problem of political gamesmanship. That Republicans have unearthed no actual justification for impeaching Biden is depicted as a political problem, nothing more.

Another factor that could complicate the fall timeline for an impeachment inquiry: Government funding expires at the end of September. McCarthy has already signaled they will need a short-term spending patch to keep the government’s lights on, which hardline conservatives have balked at.

Officially moving ahead with an impeachment inquiry could help keep angry conservatives off McCarthy’s back. And the speaker himself has linked the two issues publicly, warning that a government shutdown could hinder House Republicans’ ability to continue their investigations into the Biden administration – a direct appeal to his right flank, and a sign of all the competing pressures that the speaker is facing.

Every political journalist in Washington, D.C., knows that House Republicans’ push to impeach Biden exists as a strictly partisan maneuver to (1) retaliate against Trump's impeachments and (2) manufacture an anti-Biden scandal so as to offset the accusations of Trump’s rampant criminality. Republicans want to bend the narrative from "Trump and his Republican allies did crimes" to "Both sides are doing crimes." Their intention is to use the false claims to sway the next presidential race. Again.

But we political journalists are going to ignore all that, studiously, and report on the propaganda campaign as a political tactic. What does this mean to Republicans in vulnerable districts? How will it affect short-term spending battles? Can McCarthy thwart would-be Republican moderates to push the propaganda campaign forward?

It's not until paragraph nine that we get the disclaimer: Republicans’ impeachment rationale is bullshit:

Republicans have pointed to unverified allegations that Biden profited from his son’s foreign business dealings as grounds for impeachment and have also alleged that there was political interference at the Department of Justice in the ongoing Hunter Biden criminal case – neither of which Republicans have been able to prove, which the White House and Democrats have repeatedly stressed.

“Unverified” is the key word, but the paragraph ends with a deflection to "White House and Democrats" who insist on pointing out that Republicans have not been "able to prove" their claims—a deflection that is unnecessary and borders on manipulative. CNN knows these claims are unverified, that Republicans have been unable to prove their accusations, and yet the grounds for this impeachment inquiry gets a passing mention deep in the story.

Campaign Action

Most of the claims surrounding Hunter Biden are the product of a Trump-era ratfucking operation by Rudy Giuliani, the now-indicted former mayor of New York City. The operation’s goal was to deflect from Russian election interference with a bizarre theory that, actually, it was Russia’s enemy Ukraine that meddled in our elections and that Hunter Biden, Hillary Clinton, and the Hamburglar were all somehow involved. Republicans’ investigations of the “Hunter Biden” story isn't a case of longstanding suspicions of a Biden crime ring being dutifully probed by public servants; it is a conspiracy-peddling campaign pushed by known liars, several of whom are facing charges for their own roles in an attempted coup.

Republicans’ conspiracy mongering is the far more interesting and important story, and political journalism so often seems uninterested in telling it. It is as if these journalists cannot comprehend conspiracy-peddling as corruption. Surely, by writing such articles, they would invite retaliation from elected officials whom the journalists court for access. Better to have access to those telling lies than to point out the lies.

The article closes out by calling attention to a new social media post by the man at the center of all this. On Truth Social, Trump screeched his frustration at, of all people, his allies in Congress: "You don’t need a long INQUIRY to prove it, it’s already proven. … Either IMPEACH the BUM, or fade into OBLIVION. THEY DID IT TO US!"

That is what the article should have focused on: the indicted leader of an attempted coup demanding the impeachment of the man who beat him, all while the indicted leader himself mounts a new bid to retake power. It is the story of one political party mired in corruption and peddling hoaxes. It is the most exciting political story on the planet, the story that happens in nations just before democracy falls and a strongman and his toadies declare elections to be too corrupt to continue and journalists to be enemies of the citizens. It is the last political story a democracy tells, and the political journalists tasked with fetching quotes from the conspirators still avoid telling it.


House Republicans swiftly act to obstruct on Trump’s behalf

Republicans consider a novel way to obstruct investigations of Trump

Republicans' star witness contradicts Republican claims

Republicans erupt in outrage after AG Garland appoints the special counsel they demanded

We talk about the upcoming Republican presidential debate and how sad a situation it is. The Republican Party shot itself in the foot with a Trump-sized bullet and now it's stuck with him for the foreseeable future. We still try to game out the possible paths the Republican field might take in order to rid themselves of the Donald.

House Republicans swiftly act to obstruct on Trump’s behalf

It's clockwork at this point. Whenever seditionist Donald Trump is accused of another crime, House Republicans rise up to obstruct justice. It's been happening since before Trump's first impeachment. It happened the very moment government agencies began looking into possible connections between Russian hacks of Trump's Democratic opposition and multiple members of Trump's own inner circles. (See: Stone, Manafort.) Trump has been indicted three times now on nearly 100 felony charges, and House Republicans have immediately jumped in to crookedly target his prosecutors every time.

CNN reports that the House Judiciary Committee, led by professional crime enabler Rep. Jim Jordan, is expected to open an investigation into Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis "as soon as Thursday." The reasons are as shallow as the ones given for the attempts to obstruct the criminal cases levels against Trump in New York and by special counsel Jack Smith. Jordan and the rest of the House organized crime bunch say they want to know whether Willis used federal money to investigate Dear Leader or whether her office was secretly conspiring with Smith in filing the charges against Trump.

But the real reason for House Republican interference is spelled out just as boldly: Jordan is again demanding that law enforcement turn over evidence in the case to Jordan and other Republicans who have remained in contact with Trump after his coup attempt.

That those Republicans have been coordinating with Trump himself is already known. The purpose of demands that prosecutors hand over their evidence is, of course, so that Trump's seditionist allies in Congress can leak the prosecution's evidence to Trump directly.

It's the same play these same Republicans have used throughout each of Trump's numerous scandals. They use their government powers to uncover the witnesses and agents who brought evidence against Trump, then publicly demonize those witnesses to the point of fomenting death threats.

Campaign Action

Jordan's been running an organized crime ring from inside Congress for a good long time now, inheriting the role from Rep. Devin Nunes, who ducked out of Congress under suspicious circumstances only to turn up in a cushy Trump-provided job. The players include the alleged coke orgy guy, otherwise known as Rep. Matt Gaetz; Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene; and the whole assortment of House Republicans who sought to invalidate Trump's reelection loss with an assist from a Trump-provided rioting mob.

I'm not sure what it's going to take for journalists to start treating Jordan as the chief toady of an organized attempt to sabotage law enforcement from inside Congress itself. None of it is being hidden: We know House Republicans are coordinating with Trump in attempts to sabotage the criminal cases against him.

This is how CNN puts it, and it sure doesn't illuminate much:

It all amounts to a familiar playbook for House Republicans, who have been quick to try to use their congressional majority – which includes the ability to launch investigations, issue subpoenas and restrict funding – to defend the former president and offer up some counter programming amid his mounting legal battles. But they’ve also run into some resistance in their extraordinary efforts to intervene in ongoing criminal matters, while there are questions about what jurisdiction they have over state-level investigations.

Yes, the "some resistance" part of "some resistance in their extraordinary efforts to intervene in ongoing criminal matters" part is because such interference is brazenly illegal, and Jordan and team are skirting a very fine line in relying on congressional protections to dodge prosecution for what would have already landed them with felony indictments themselves if anyone not in the U.S. Congress was foolish enough to try it. It is broadly known that Congress does not have jurisdiction over state-level investigations, which is why the only real threat Jordan can make is to defund any law enforcement office that investigates potential Trump crimes.

But there's simply no question that it's all very crooked, and that the crookedness is specifically aimed at letting an indicted political ally skate free if there's any skating to be done. Jordan's been staking most of his political power on extended efforts to make sure Republicans can commit felonies without repercussions. It's what he wants to be known for. His signature accomplishment.

CNN also obliges the Republican narrative with a now-rote section about how all of this is meant to be "keeping the spotlight on Biden," and as usual doesn't point out that the Republican "spotlight" on Biden is overtly another tactical move to allow Republicans to get away with felonies.

What are Republicans "investigating" Biden over? Well, they've charged him with having a son with addiction struggles who has used his proximity to his important father to land some too-sweet gigs or sell some paintings for more than his talent deserves, while being simultaneously unable to prove that the aforementioned father had a damn bit to do with any of it. It's an unusual focus for a party brushing off a $2 billion foreign investment in another struggling failson, one simultaneous to big foreign gifts to the ex-president who carted the failson into international politics.

Unless, of course, you're trying to blur the lines of "corruption" so that the public considers one to be equivalent to the other, just politics as usual as opposed to post-coup foreign purchases of loyalty.

C'mon. It's been self-evident from the first moments Rudy Giuliani oozed his way through Europe looking for "evidence" that it was Ukraine and Biden who were crooked, not Russia and Donald. The media has been in broad agreement from the first day that Giuliani's push was a transparent stunt, dishonest in premise and vouched for by international criminals. What's with this media insistence on hiding information from the public under layers of fawning quotes and cheap mental shrugs?

More than anything else, this latest House Republican attempt to intervene on behalf of a Trump-led criminal conspiracy should be a reminder that among House Republicans, there are many co-conspirators who assisted in a plan to nullify a United States presidential election rather than abide by a temporary loss of party power. Many. They promoted hoaxes to discredit the election's valid and certified results. They pushed state legislatures to override the vote totals in their states and declare Trump to be the winner by fiat. They supported the plan to "object" to the electoral counts from Biden-won states, a plan that would have seen the fraudulent slates prepared by Republican co-conspirators introduced instead if Trump's vice president could have been convinced to present the forged versions.

This isn't a case of House Republicans looking to let Trump skate from a crime they were uninvolved with. The majority of the caucus were in on the very conspiracy they're now obstructing the prosecution of.

You'd think that'd be front and center in these stories. "House Republicans still working to cover up their own criminal conspiracy" is a hell of a lot bigger a story than whatever bluster Jordan might be offering up to keep his cover-up going.

Everyone always talks about redistricting, but what is it like to actually do it? Oregon political consultant Kari Chisholm joins us on this week's episode of “The Downballot” to discuss his experience as member of Portland's new Independent District Commission, a panel of citizens tasked with creating the city's first-ever map for its city council. Kari explains why Portland wanted to switch from at-large elections to a district-based system, how new multimember districts could boost diversity on the council, and the commission's surprisingly effective efforts to divide the city into four equal districts while heeding community input.


House Republicans demanding Bragg's evidence against Trump have been coordinating with Trump himself

Florida man Matt Gaetz wants to censure judge in Trump case

Bragg lawsuit shreds Jordan's 'constantly shifting' justifications in intimidation campaign

Republicans consider a novel way to obstruct investigations of Trump

Marjorie Taylor Greene's plan to impeach everyone reaches Merrick Garland

House Republican threatens to defund the police if they keep investigating Donald Trump