An "Arkell v. Pressdram" for our time
October 25, 2020 12:12 PM   Subscribe

 
I read the response letter and now I think I need a cigarette.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:28 PM on October 25 [17 favorites]


They’re not threatening to sue to scare the defendant; they’re threatening to sue so they can tell Fox News viewers that they’re “pursuing legal action against obvious lies”.
posted by cardboard at 12:32 PM on October 25 [13 favorites]


“What will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages.” Yeah, I think the proper response to that is just to email him an entire page of the falling-over-laughing emoji.
posted by holborne at 12:39 PM on October 25 [4 favorites]


This is my ignorance of the legal epistle genre, but do lawyers regularly cite legal precedent and, in effect, give their opponents legal advice by explaining the requirements that they will need to meet in order to be successful against the letter's author(s)? It seems a little odd to me, but as I said, I never see/read these sorts of documents.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:40 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


They’re not threatening to sue to scare the defendant; they’re threatening to sue so they can tell Fox News viewers that they’re “pursuing legal action against obvious lies”.
Well.. yes and no. The Trump family have been extremely effective at very few things, but one of them that they have managed is to silence critics or potential critics with the threat of legal action. The infamous NDAs which they insist upon from anyone who gets close to the family are a good example of their systematic use of such tactics.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:41 PM on October 25 [7 favorites]


I don't trust The Lincoln Project an inch further than I can throw them, but I'm glad they're on our side for now. They are really damned good at what they do. But when our common enemy is defeated and our alliance is over, we're going to need to figure out how to defend against them.
posted by biogeo at 12:43 PM on October 25 [60 favorites]


In what has become my now-traditional plug when issues of libel are being argued, especially against public figures, I give a strong recommendation for the late Anthony Lewis' "Make No Law: the Sullivan Case and the First Amendment" to anyone interested in a clear and interesting popular history of the development of American first amendment law. It begins from the groundbreaking decision in New York Times v. Sullivan and proceeds from there through 50 years of decisions which have further shaped what can be said without fear of legal judgement under our system and why.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:48 PM on October 25 [10 favorites]


Always read the footnotes:

"The Second Circuit has held that 'a plaintiff's reputation with respect to a specific subject may be so badly tarnished that he cannot be further injured by allegedly false statements on the subject'

... the court held that mobster John 'Boobie' Cerasini had a reputation so 'tarnished' and given that he was 'generally reputed to be an associate of organized crime' that he could not claim damages for defamation; 'if there is little or no harm to a plaintiff's already low reputation, then the statements are not actionable

... Mr. Kushner's and Ms. Trump's claims will fare no better than Boobie Cerasini's given their tarnished reputations."
posted by JackFlash at 12:55 PM on October 25 [26 favorites]


They are really damned good at what they do. But when our common enemy is defeated and our alliance is over, we're going to need to figure out how to defend against them.

They have an apparatus designed to take something that's maybe sort of shady or inappropriate and convince people it is a major crime. So of course that system is going to hit endless home runs when you train it on someone actually committing major crimes.
posted by straight at 12:58 PM on October 25 [14 favorites]


The Lincoln Project has been pretty quiet on the SCOTUS confirmation, haven't they?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:59 PM on October 25 [48 favorites]


Regarding the case at hand -- this is, in my opinion, precisely the right response from the Lincoln Project but the problem is that in practical terms this defiance, although completely supported by many decades of precedent, is only available to those rich enough to bear the costs of defense against a group with the resources commanded by the Trump family or those who are poor enough to be effectively judgement-proof. This leaves a vast middle against whom such suppresionary tactics are likely to be effective, and it's even worse now that the Department of Justice has shown some inclination to be willing to intervene in Trump's personal legal matters (as with Attorney General William Barr's intervention in Jean Carroll's defamation action against the president.)

Four years of the Trump administration have revealed a clear pattern of abuse of the courts -- to thwart subpoenas, to silence critics, to prevent the lawful revelation of embarrassing information -- and I really hope that the legal profession will step back and take a look afterwards as to how wealth and power were used systematically to distort the functioning of justice. But I have no confidence that that will occur because the compromised system that Trump is exploiting is most probably functioning as designed when it protects the privileges of the rich and influential. It's one of many sets of systemic problems that were never exactly secret but have been completely laid bare and made undeniable during recent years and it particularly saddens me, who was raised by a father who practiced and believed in the law, but I don't expect that much will change.

But if it were up to me I'd see the courts sanction all of the attorneys who filed delaying motions based on arguments that were prima facie bullshit, tear up all of the NDAs that were not found to be in the public interest, and much more. Because along with everything else that we have been losing, respect for the law and belief in justice are taking a nosedive in this country, and once those go beyond a critical point they will be far, far, far more difficult to regain than they were to lose.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:04 PM on October 25 [14 favorites]


The Lincoln Project has been pretty quiet on the SCOTUS confirmation, haven't they?

Most conservatives are perfectly fine with the nomination. She fits well with everything the movement has been working toward over the years. Criticizing her nomination would gain nothing for the Lincoln Project.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:30 PM on October 25 [6 favorites]


The Lincoln Project has been pretty quiet on the SCOTUS confirmation, haven't they?


They've been merciless on the senators that have pushed for this nomination.
posted by ocschwar at 1:32 PM on October 25 [16 favorites]


The Lincoln Project reminds me of Operation Paperclip: Sure they're not good people, but we need their unique skills right now for a vital mission.
posted by whuppy at 1:44 PM on October 25 [7 favorites]


The Lincoln Project has been pretty quiet on the SCOTUS confirmation, haven't they?

Not exactly. Their stance is far more broad than that, though. They increasingly say the whole Republican party is beyond redemption and needs to be completely dismantled. There's a good deal of speculation among them as to what happens after the election, what will be the purpose should the election successfully oust trump. I have no idea what kind of reckoning will be coming among their own, or how it's going to play out. Until then, they are pretty united on the goal.


They have an apparatus designed to take something that's maybe sort of shady or inappropriate and convince people it is a major crime. So of course that system is going to hit endless home runs when you train it on someone actually committing major crimes.


Um... yeah.

It only makes me wonder why the fuck Democratic/liberal operations cannot figure out how to do this. Its not like there have never been any Republican targets ready to be righteously skewered. We're only able do it in such a flaccid, ready-to-back-down way. We need to be taking notes every minute.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:23 PM on October 25 [27 favorites]


This is my ignorance of the legal epistle genre, but do lawyers regularly cite legal precedent and, in effect, give their opponents legal advice by explaining the requirements that they will need to meet in order to be successful against the letter's author(s)?

Citing leading cases on First Amendment jurisprudence — all of which any lawyer who does this kind of work is already well familiar with, of course — isn’t “giving legal advice.” It’s telling your adversary that they don’t have a leg to stand on.
posted by holborne at 2:53 PM on October 25 [11 favorites]


Isn't this one of those situations that the more accurate the statements attributed to Jared and Ivanka are, the less of a libel case they have? Their lawsuit will result in high-profile verification that yep, they said those things and yep, they did nothing while people died. Sounds like they're preparing their petards for the hoisting, no?
posted by iamkimiam at 3:06 PM on October 25 [2 favorites]


Sure they're not good people, but we need their unique skills right now for a vital mission.

Sort of like The Dirty Dozen, but without all the shooting.
posted by freakazoid at 3:08 PM on October 25 [3 favorites]


I don't trust The Lincoln Project an inch further than I can throw them, but I'm glad they're on our side for now. They are really damned good at what they do. But when our common enemy is defeated and our alliance is over, we're going to need to figure out how to defend against them.

This times a billion. The LP are conservatives that have jumped ship from the Trump disaster, but in reality if they have power and influence they'll push much the same shit as Trump, but they'll just sound and look better while doing it. And they want to (continue to) be in influential positions when the dust settles.

Biden and his administration (let us hope and pray that is the case) need to slam the door shut on David Frum, David Brooks, Newt Gingrich, Peggy Noonan, Mitt Romney, etc, etc. Give 'em the finger and tell 'em "thanks for the down-dirty ads, now take a hike." Of course, with Biden and Pelosi and Schumer, et al, that'll never happen, and the Never Trumpers/Lincoln Project folks will be welcomed with open arms by the Democratic center. And the media outlets, whose entire mandate is based on "Both Sides Do It!" will definitely welcome those people.

For those of us on the left, getting rid of Trump is only the start.
posted by zardoz at 3:19 PM on October 25 [20 favorites]


Sure they're not good people, but we need their unique skills right now for a vital mission

Posting on social media and spending big on a billboard in one of the bluest states in the nation. How did the union survive this long without them? In 13 months they'll be agitating for President Harris to preemptively nuke Tehran.
posted by figurant at 3:20 PM on October 25 [8 favorites]




It only makes me wonder why the fuck Democratic/liberal operations cannot figure out how to do this. Its not like there have never been any Republican targets ready to be righteously skewered.

Came in here to grumble exactly this sentiment.
posted by AV at 4:34 PM on October 25 [4 favorites]


Driftglass is really irked about this, e.g., The Lincoln Lads Just Can't Stop Ripping Us Off.
posted by kingless at 5:00 PM on October 25 [4 favorites]


Posting on social media and spending big on a billboard in one of the bluest states in the nation.

It seems fairly obvious to me: the goal of the billboard is not to convince any voters in its immediate area, because none of the voters who would see it can reasonably be expected to have a real effect on the outcome of the presidential election.

No, the goal of the billboard is for Jared and Ivanka to be embarrassed enough in front of their friends to threaten a lawsuit. By the rules of today's media world, this qualifies as news and therefore translates into free publicity for the Lincoln Project. Lots more voters see the billboard, including some in places more important to the election than New York. Even better, it probably attracts some amount of dollars to the Lincoln Project so that the process can be repeated.

Like many people, I'm repulsed by Trump's attacks on the press. But it's hard to ignore the enabling role they play in our current dysfunctional system.
posted by Slothrup at 5:09 PM on October 25 [11 favorites]


Both sides are making a lot of noise in the press, getting media attention that is being diverted away from a laundry list of cases against Trump, as much as attention on one scandal after another involving Republicans. This seems like good news for those on both sides of this particular dispute.

I admit that I am highly skeptical about the Lincoln Project and their true objectives. Their response to the DeJoy scandal, for instance, was to support privatization of the USPS. Being the first rats of disrepute to evacuate from a sinking ship is no particular honor.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:14 PM on October 25 [6 favorites]


Posting on social media and spending big on a billboard in one of the bluest states in the nation.Times. Fucking. Square.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:17 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


Times. Fucking. Square.

Obviously selected for maximum provocation. That's Jared and Ivanka's home town. As crass nouveau riche they crave acceptance into the old New York social elite. Trashing their reputations there hits 'em where it hurts, resulting in the national Streisand Effect the Lincoln Project wanted. Not surprised they were dumb enough to fall for it.
posted by JackFlash at 5:34 PM on October 25 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that billboard is visible from the 666 building that jareb owns... at least from the upper floors.
posted by sexyrobot at 5:40 PM on October 25 [2 favorites]


Times. Fucking. Square.

Utah's Republicans are about to start running death panels.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:51 PM on October 25 [6 favorites]


Y'know, it's great when the bad guys turn their knives on each other. One of my favorite tropes, totally awesome as long as no innocent people or good guys get caught in any splash damage.

But while this is cute and all, it makes me absolutely fucking insane that people are actually giving these Lincoln Project dudes money.

Their aim may be trained in the right direction from now but this is a pack of unrepentant assholes who are part of why conservatism is the nightmare it is today. Every one of them is a dirtbag. I'm good with a moment to point and laugh as long as we immediately move on instead of giving them more oxygen.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:04 PM on October 25 [8 favorites]


“You can put water in your gravy to a certain point,” Bell said. “Then it’s just water with gravy in it.”

This metaphor applies to so much in 2020.
posted by medusa at 6:23 PM on October 25 [2 favorites]


... it makes me absolutely fucking insane that people are actually giving these Lincoln Project dudes money.

My enemy's enemy is my friend.

Until my enemy is defeated.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:28 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


I have no illusions about the ideological goals of The Lincoln Project, but Girl in the Mirror is one of the best political ads I've seen, and I see nothing objectionable about it. *This* is the kind of ad I wonder why the Democrats can't come up with.
posted by Slothrup at 6:34 PM on October 25 [14 favorites]


An "Arkell v. Pressdram" for our time

Yeah, no. The Pressdram response is brief, pointed, profane, and final; a brush-off. The Lincoln response ... isn't.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:01 PM on October 25 [4 favorites]


... it makes me absolutely fucking insane that people are actually giving these Lincoln Project dudes money.


One of the things they are attacking in their ads is police brutality, and they frequently use footage of BLM protests putting the protesters in a positive light.

If I had money to spread for politics, yes, they would get some.
posted by ocschwar at 7:15 PM on October 25 [3 favorites]


never threaten to sue someone who wants to be sued

Pretty much. Just thinking of everything TLP's lawyers could pull out of discovery just makes me salivate.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:46 PM on October 25 [3 favorites]


Girl in the Mirror is one of the best political ads I've seen, and I see nothing objectionable about it. *This* is the kind of ad I wonder why the Democrats can't come up with.

Hillary Clinton had basically the same ad in 2016: Mirrors
posted by lisa g at 8:33 PM on October 25 [8 favorites]


The Lincoln Project reminds me of Operation Paperclip: Sure they're not good people, but we need their unique skills right now for a vital mission

Preaching to the choir to collect a bunch of money while not making a dent in the election?

(I can’t currently find the link I wanted to cite for this, which had a chart with focus group results for a series of different ads)
posted by atoxyl at 9:36 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


My enemy's enemy is my friend.

I feel like the vast majority of American history refutes this idea.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:34 PM on October 25 [6 favorites]


This times a billion. The LP are conservatives that have jumped ship from the Trump disaster, but in reality if they have power and influence they'll push much the same shit as Trump, but they'll just sound and look better while doing it. And they want to (continue to) be in influential positions when the dust settles.


It’s less that he jumped ship, but were pushed out as Trump has his own media apparatus so they were looking at a couple of years with no work. They created the Lincoln Project to make sure they have a job.
posted by jmauro at 10:55 PM on October 25 [3 favorites]


Operation Paperclip: Sure they're not good people, but we need their unique skills right now for a vital mission

They might be Nazis, but they're our Nazis, I guess.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:39 AM on October 26 [5 favorites]


...the enemy of my enemy....

This perches dangerously near the minimum friction coefficient of the slippery slope of ..the end justifies the means...But it helps us avoid formally noticing the stunning incompetence of "our side."

The best we can do here is to let those dogs sleep in the yard, but for Pete's sake, don't feed the fuckers. It's a sad day when we have to let the likes of the LP carry our water.

Anyhow, for sheer eloquence, you can't do much better than the Pressdram Response.
posted by mule98J at 5:20 AM on October 26 [1 favorite]


Hillary Clinton had basically the same ad in 2016: Mirrors

Except Clinton's ad is not as well made, and more importantly I don't recall ever seeing it, and I live in a swing state and watch television.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:18 AM on October 26 [3 favorites]


The Lincoln Project is composed of despicable Iraq War enablers and plutocratic vampires, but they are useful insofar as they illuminate just how almost deliberately hopeless Democrats are at political campaigning
posted by moorooka at 8:39 AM on October 26 [8 favorites]


An "Arkell v. Pressdram" for our time
Yeah, no. The Pressdram response is brief, pointed, profane, and final; a brush-off. The Lincoln response ... isn't.


Agreed. The Lincoln Project's initial response on Twitter was better ("Nuts!"). Personally, I'd have gone with what I think of as the "Cleveland Browns" response ("I feel that you should be aware that some asshole is signing your name to stupid letters.")

And as for the Lincoln Project itself, I'm reminded of Churchill: “If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.”
posted by Zonker at 9:41 AM on October 26 [7 favorites]


insofar as they illuminate just how almost deliberately hopeless Democrats are at political campaigning

illuminate by what they do, or by what they don’t do?

as I said above, I think the premise that their ads work on any significant swingable demographic is, at best, without real supporting evidence
posted by atoxyl at 12:58 PM on October 26


I think the premise that their ads work on any significant swingable demographic is, at best, without real supporting evidence

Although, as mentioned (by me, among others) in the last TLP thread, a lot of their strategy seems to be more along the lines of "bait Trump and other MAGAts into saying/tweeting/writing batshit nonsense, which then gets picked up by more mainstream media." Billboards in Times Square won't have much direct effect, and it would be a 6-hour blip on the news - only Javanka had a conniption and started threatening lawsuits, which 1) makes them look like entitled whiny assholes and 2) gives this whole thing a 3-5 day spin in the news cycle. 5 days of Javanka being big shitheads to a nationwide audience might swing some votes. And it wastes their time and money.

It's Republican Voters Against Trump that seems to be attempting to directly message swing & reluctant Biden voters. But they've got a very different message.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:06 PM on October 26


gives this whole thing a 3-5 day spin in the news cycle

but do people who are not already committed partisans care? Is this the kind of thing we want in the news cycle?

And it wastes their time and money.

And liberals, in aggregate, are almost certainly giving a crazy amount of money to the Lincoln Project - they’ve raised almost $40 million in the past three or four months and that is absolutely not all coming from genuine never-Trump Republicans.

It just seems rather improbable to me that the whole thing is wasting more time and money for Republicans than for Democrats, unless the ads work really well. I only really have one study to back up my intuition that they don’t, but that study suggests that the better way to appeal to people’s Trump Fatigue is to leave his stupid face out of your messaging.
posted by atoxyl at 4:43 PM on October 26 [2 favorites]


IMO, TLP is a very niche thing but the niche they target includes the top of the meritocracy--including reporters and pundits--so it helps at the margins. I think it helps legitimize not voting for Trump among a type of well educated, high income, regulation hating class, who appreciate hearing this from one of their own. There's also a tactical advantage to getting the aggressive hits out there from people who are legitimately unconnected with his campaign.

And they are sincere. I was convinced of it once they spoke out against "moderate" senators who enable Trump. They have no future in the GOP unless the party is seriously crushed this November.

Is this the kind of thing we want in the news cycle?

Hard, insulting anti-Trump messaging? Why ever not? These guys aren't progressives, but their ads are pretty focused anti-Trump attacks. It's not "we need to get back to morning in America" stuff that is in favor of Generic Republican.

And liberals, in aggregate, are almost certainly giving a crazy amount of money to the Lincoln Project - they’ve raised almost $40 million in the past three or four months and that is absolutely not all coming from genuine never-Trump Republicans.

To put this in perspective, ActBlue has raised 3.4 billion. It's half what liberals donated to Amy McGrath, which not only won't get liberals squat but funds her occasional Trump normalizing ad.

(To be fair I've donated to Harrison in SC, who is also flush with money and didn't need it. Donating in the optimal place is tough.)
posted by mark k at 10:04 PM on October 26 [3 favorites]


Hard, insulting anti-Trump messaging? Why ever not?

The core claim I am making is that this appeals to people who are already strongly anti-Trump while not being very effective in convincing people who aren’t (frustratingly that’s still not the link I was looking for on this subject). The problem with Trump-focused ads is that they become a drop in the ocean of Trump-focused media. And I suspect the more personally insulting it gets the more it enters the late night TV political comedy zone i.e. flags itself as entertainment for partisans.

They have no future in the GOP unless the party is seriously crushed this November.

And they shouldn’t have one in the Democratic Party, either.
posted by atoxyl at 9:30 AM on October 27


The core claim I am making is that this appeals to people who are already strongly anti-Trump while not being very effective in convincing people who aren’t (

Those people don't need to be convinced to change their vote. It's enough to demoralize them into staying home on the 3rd.
posted by ocschwar at 11:55 AM on October 27 [1 favorite]


Can we table the question about TLP's purity of intent for the time being, and acknowledge that we are collectively facing a crisis that is so big that we will need to hit it with everything we've got, which by definition may include some particular weapons that not everyone is gonna like?

Let's get Biden into office first without a civil war or a supreme court challenge to the results. THEN we can start to question the all-around moral compass of the members of TLP and how they relate to other matters.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:06 PM on October 27 [3 favorites]


Those people don't need to be convinced to change their vote. It's enough to demoralize them into staying home on the 3rd.

Um, I’m not talking about committed Trump voters, I’m talking about marginal/swing voters, not people one usually wants to demoralize.

I think there’s also a possibility that this kind of message helps rile up the Trump fans but I’m not so worried about that because they get riled up by lots of things.

Can we table the question about TLP's purity of intent for the time being, and acknowledge that we are collectively facing a crisis that is so big that we will need to hit it with everything we've got, which by definition may include some particular weapons that not everyone is gonna like?

Can’t speak for anyone else but I am arguing that they are counterproductive (tactically) and potentially destructive to the values of the Democratic Party (if they are able to become thought leaders within it). You may disagree of course - my concrete evidence against their approach is thin, though I suspect you will find evidence for it is thin as well - but I explicitly reject the diversity of tactics framing for reasons I have explained.
posted by atoxyl at 12:38 PM on October 27


If your experience suggests they are convincing to, say, the vaunted suburban moderates then by all means argue that.
posted by atoxyl at 12:45 PM on October 27


I wonder what Democrats will think when the Lincoln Leopards start eating their faces.
posted by JackFlash at 12:54 PM on October 27 [1 favorite]


@atoxyl:

You seem to be shifting between saying TLP is actually counterproductive and just not optimally targeting their ads. The second part is basically true, but so what? They are like 0.05% of the money is this race. They make anti-Trump ads. They ridicule senators who enable Trump and the ongoing shenanigans with voting rights. They get some free press.

potentially destructive to the values of the Democratic Party (if they are able to become thought leaders within it).

Yeah, that would be bad so maybe that's your main worry? But also it's wildly implausible.

They haven't coordinated with the Biden campaign or helped specific candidates. No one in the Democratic party owes them any favors. They aren't making an intellectual case that we need to implicitly commit to. They have some goodwill among Democrats solely for making ads that serve as comfort food and comedy spots. The second they say "now that this is behind us, we really do need more abortion restrictions" it'll be like a comedian milkshake duck-ing.

Also: They don't want that role. I've listened to two hour long podcasts with TLP types interviewed by center-left types (Tom Nichols by Josh Marshall, Stuart Stevens by some other similar journalist.) They are ex-cold warriors who like lower taxes and none of the diverse factions that make up the Democrats. The Democrats are still "you guys" when they give interviews. They aren't pretending to be allies that they're not, they are simply anti-Trump and anti-Trump enablers. Nichols is still sore at the Bork nomination being scuttled, for chrissakes, and says it openly.

If we were talking about the Niksanen center crowd or something I could get the need to worry about how much their influence is percolating, but these guys? Nah.

For me it's a no-brainer to enjoy that this stuff is running. It's funny and if it impacts anything it's all in the direction we want.
posted by mark k at 1:59 PM on October 27 [3 favorites]


You seem to be shifting between saying TLP is actually counterproductive and just not optimally targeting their ads.

One point I wanted to make was just that “well, it can’t hurt, can it?” is not actually a safe assumption. Is it more likely that it just doesn’t move the needle much either way? Probably, but that still makes it counterproductive for left-of-center folks to give them money.

My more deeply cynical personal take is that they are aware that they are mostly preaching to the choir, and are simply looking to parlay that into a more permanent hustle - and if they are lucky a new political home. I don’t forgive them their pasts. I don’t want them to have that.

If we were talking about the Niksanen center crowd or something I could get the need to worry about how much their influence is percolating, but these guys? Nah.

If I believed their hawkish tendencies would get them kicked out of Dem circles I might feel better about it but I don’t believe that for a second. I suppose you could argue that they would be the symptom rather than the disease in that case.

Maybe I don’t know the Niskanen crowd that well because what I’ve seen from them these days policy-wise actually seems preferable to what some of the LP guys have historically stood for. Are you using them as an example because you think it is more plausible that they could assimilate into the Democratic Party?
posted by atoxyl at 3:43 PM on October 27


OK thanks. I guess to worry about this I'd need some evidence that the worries are plausible. But at this point rather just say we have different intuitions and agree to disagree.

As for the TLP finding a home among Democrats, my point is that they have zero affinity and zero to offer (beyond anti-Trumpism.) The hawkishness alone won't get them kicked out, but that wasn't my line of thinking. Politicians need constituences and who do these guys bring? The same thing that makes their impact in the election small means they have nothing that makes them attractive to mainstream Democrats (and, again, nothing that makes mainstream Democrats to them.)

So following on that logic, I agree Niskanen crowd *is* a lot better than the TLP. And that's why worrying about the implications of their liberaltarian roots would be a plausible concern. IMHO temperamentally they should be Republicans, if there were still a sane Republican party. But I could see them hooking up with, say, the people who liked Buttigieg and getting fawned over by NPR or the NYT op-ed pages and becoming thought leaders in the Democratic party in ways that is impossible for me to imagine for Conway, Nichols or Stevens.
posted by mark k at 4:21 PM on October 27


Citing leading cases on First Amendment jurisprudence — all of which any lawyer who does this kind of work is already well familiar with, of course — isn’t “giving legal advice.” It’s telling your adversary that they don’t have a leg to stand on.

Maybe you're assuming too much competence on behalf of Trump's lawyers...
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:44 PM on October 27


The Lincoln Project'sspot on the child abduction policy at the border.

They don't just want to purge the Trumpets out of the GOP. They are nailing their colors to the mast here.
posted by ocschwar at 12:36 PM on October 29




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