Liz Cheney/WaPo:

The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us.

History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.

I don’t think people appreciate that the US is in a little two-year window between being ruled by vicious lying authoritarian morons the last time and being ruled by vicious lying authoritarian morons the next time. Take some big breaths, cause we’re going back under soon.

— David Roberts (@drvolts) May 6, 2021

Charlotte Klein/Vanity Fair:


National Review and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board defended the No. 3 House Republican for not going along with Trump’s election lies—but congressional Republicans remain in the former president’s thrall.

As Trump continues to push the Big Lie that the election was stolen, Cheney has taken the lonely path among GOP leadership by actually pushing back against the dangerous falsehoods. As a result, she has been accused of drawing attention to herself “for her personal views,” the Review notes, rather than focusing on policy—despite the fact that “some Trump supporters have displayed more passion about taking her out than opposing Biden’s $6 trillion agenda.” Policy, the editors argue, is not the reason Cheney is likely about to lose her job. “She has maintained an overwhelmingly conservative voting record and, while noninterventionists may object to her hawkishness, that does not explain the movement to oust her.” What may explain the expected purge, the Review suggests, is the fact that Rep. Elise Stefanik, who voted to overturn the election and has vocally backed Trump, is almost certain to take her place. “It’s a sad commentary on the state of the House GOP that this has now become a condition of advancement,” the Review writes. On Wednesday, Stefanik was endorsed by Trump himself.

“Gangel said McCarthy is ‘very concerned this January 6th commission is going to call him as a witness, under oath, and that he is going to have to talk about what happened between election day and January 6th, and that phone call with the president.’”

— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 5, 2021

Susan B Glasser/New Yorker:

Forced to Choose Between Trump’s “Big Lie” and Liz Cheney, the House G.O.P. Chooses the Lie

And yet Trump has successfully proved throughout the past few months that the repetition of these lies over and over again—even without accompanying evidence—is more than enough to get millions of Americans to believe him. He has run this play before. He knows that it works. Fake News indeed.

The striking difference is that, this time, Liz Cheney has chosen to fight him on it. If Trump does manage to reinvent “the Big Lie” in service of his own corrupt ends, Cheney will at least have forced members of her party into admitting, on the record, that they are making a choice between truth and Trump’s untruth—and choosing the latter. There is no hope among her supporters and advisers that she will win the fight, when the House Republican Conference votes, likely next week, to boot her. Instead, there is a recognition that Cheney has finally decided to do what most of the Trump skeptics within the Party were reluctant to for four years: publicly challenge not only Trump’s lies but the enablers within the G.O.P. who give his lies such power. “It’s all got to do with fealty to Trump and the Big Lie and the fact that Liz is a living reproach to all these cowards,” Eric Edelman, a friend of Cheney’s who served as a national-security adviser to her father, former Vice-President Dick Cheney, told me.

Cheney’s rupture with the House Republican Conference has become all but final in recent days, but it has been months in the making. Edelman revealed that Cheney herself secretly orchestrated an unprecedented op-ed in the Washington Post by all ten living former Defense Secretaries, including her father, warning against Trump’s efforts to politicize the military. The congresswoman not only recruited her father but personally asked others, including Trump’s first Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, to participate.

If the report about Defense Secretaries is accurate, this is a stunning revelation. 


Trump’s spell over the media broke once he lost his megaphones

Between the lines: Trump’s ability to broadcast his thoughts to major social platforms disappeared in recent months, but so too did the imperative for news organizations to cover him.

  • Post-presidency, Trump has tried to get his thoughts out through tweet-like press releases, which only get seen if media outlets pick them up.

“Trump’s social media superpower was never his ability to tweet — it was his ability to get the media to cover what he tweeted,” SocialFlow CEO Jim Anderson tells Axios.

In 2008, about 42% of Americans were white Christians. 64% of the votes cast for McCain were from white Christians, it was 32% of Obama’s. In 2020, 39% of Americans were white Christians. 64% of the votes cast for Trump were white Christians. It was 25% of Biden’s.

— Ryan Burge 📊 (@ryanburge) May 6, 2021

Thomas B. Edsall/NY Times:

Why Trump Still Has Millions of Americans in His Grip

By the 1970s, many white Americans — who had taken their own centrality for granted — felt that they were being shouldered aside, left to face alone the brunt of the long process of deindustrialization: a cluster of adverse economic trends including the decline in manufacturing employment, the erosion of wages by foreign competition and the implosion of trade unionism.

These voters became the shock troops of the Reagan Revolution; they now dominate Trump’s Republican Party.

Liberal onlookers exploring the rise of right-wing populism accuse their adversaries of racism and sexism. There is plenty of truth to this view, but it’s not the whole story.

*Republicans* saw the BIGGEST shift towards COVID vaccine confidence over the last month.

— Ben Wakana (@benwakana46) May 6, 2021

Jan Hoffman/NY Times:

Poll Shows Parents Are Reluctant to Get Their Children Vaccinated for Covid-19

The new survey also found only 9 percent of adult respondents hadn’t gotten the shot but planned to do so, suggesting the country is nearing the limit of people planning to get immunized

The survey also showed that confidence in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had suffered a significant blow after the 10-day pause in dispensing it while the authorities examined rare incidents of life-threatening blood clots in people who had taken it. While 69 percent of people said they had confidence in the safety of the vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, only 46 percent felt confident about the safety of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Among adults who have not been vaccinated, one in five said that the news about the Johnson & Johnson shot had prompted them to change their minds about getting a Covid-19 vaccine.

The survey did show that there had been some progress among Republicans, who have been among the firmest holdouts. Among that group, 55 percent said they had gotten a shot or intended to do so, up from 46 percent in March. The percentage who will “definitely not” get the vaccine is shrinking as well, down to 20 percent from 29 percent in March.

Our new Vaccine Monitor is out. One finding: a majority of republicans are now vaccinated or want to be, and fewer are resistant. It shows slow, inch by inch progress is possible even as vaccinations overall have markedly slowed.

— Drew Altman (@DrewAltman) May 6, 2021

WAMU podcast:

Going Medieval On White Supremacists

The Middle Ages spanned roughly a thousand years – and encompassed all seven continents. 

But when most Americans think about Medieval times (not the restaurant), our brains go straight to an all-white version of Medieval Europe that never really existed

The myth is so pernicious, white supremacists have used it to draw people to their cause for more than a hundred years. 

Last month, it was even alluded to in a memo calling on Republicans to form a caucus driven by “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

So, while we still hear a lot about the Vikings, the Celts, and the supposed “Anglo-Saxons,” what were those groups really like? And what does our misunderstanding of the Middle Ages mean for how we view our world today?  

Disengaged, not deradicalized.

— Seamus Hughes (@SeamusHughes) May 5, 2021

Olivia Messer/Study Hall:

The COVID Reporters Are Not Okay. Extremely Not Okay.

An underprepared industry is losing a generation of journalists to despair, trauma, and moral injury as they cover the story of a lifetime.

When I told my editors at The Daily Beast that I needed to quit my job as the newsroom’s lead COVID reporter, I couldn’t even say the word “quit.”

Even now, weeks later, it feels like admitting failure.

I was working my dream job in a newsroom I loved where I was writing about what felt like the most important beat in the world. I felt lucky to be employed and alive in the middle of a global pandemic.

But in between meetings and interviews and filing stories, I was falling apart. I was writing poems about suicide. I went whole days without eating at all. At one point, I collapsed onto the floor from dehydration. I was vomiting from stress. I developed a stye in my left eye. I wasn’t getting out of bed most days. I was crying all the time. My nightmares, in which I was shot or raped or watching coworkers burn alive in front of me, scared me so much that some nights I refused to sleep at all. When I wasn’t too afraid to sleep, I was still restless because I was too angry or too anxious or too sad or too filled with shame. I sometimes woke in the early morning hours with bile climbing up my throat and the simmer of heartburn in my chest. There were times I took sick days because I couldn’t stop sobbing long enough to string even a few pitches together.

I was struggling to stay above water when the footage of the January 6 insurrection triggered the post-traumatic stress disorder I thought I’d shaken years ago. By the time someone I loved died a few weeks later, I was already drowning.

I mean this is absolutely the least they can do, but it’s VERY helpful! Jesse Watters encouraged people to get vaccinated on his show. Tucker Carlson is the outlier, even at Fox. Problem is, he has the highest rated show.

— Ben Yelin (@byelin) May 7, 2021

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Liz Cheney realizes she's lost the battle but still needs to speak out 1