Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Congressional House Republicans are still in the Jan. 6 spotlight

Hunter Walker/newsletter:

Everything We Know About The Role Members Of Congress Played On January 6

There was an official component to what happened that day.

There were eight Republican House members who were either advertised speakers in Alexander”;s event, allegedly part of planning calls, or on stage at the Ellipse –; Gosar, Biggs, Brooks, Boebert, Cawthorn, Gooden, Gohmert, and Greene. All eight supported objections to the election on the House floor.

These stories combine to paint a clear picture: Members of Congress were a major part of the efforts to block the electoral certification that day.

New Marquette Law School nationwide survey finds that former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis run equally against President Joe Biden in possible 2024 match-ups, although both trail Biden. #mulawpoll

–; MULawPoll (@MULawPoll) January 27, 2022

Kurt Anderson/Atlantic:


Since last summer, the conservative campaign against vaccination has claimed thousands of lives for no ethically justifiable purpose.

One big difference between then and now is the likelihood of death. In sacrificial spectacles hundreds and thousands of years ago, almost all of those chosen to die died, whether or not they had volunteered, whereas only a fraction of the people now volunteering to die by forgoing vaccinations actually do. It”;s the new and improved modern version of mass human sacrifice.

But as I surveyed the anthropological literature, I was struck again and again by how well that scholarship describes the factors responsible for the thousands of deaths of Americans each month. Our current experience with COVID is filled with what historians of human sacrifice have identified as its key features. Let me run through the main ones.

The big picture is that Fox News primetime is getting more anti-vax at the very same time that the gap between unvaccinated and-vaccinated deaths is surging. In November, this ratio was 15-to-1. Now it’s 20-to-1, near its all-time high.

–; Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) January 26, 2022

First Read:

Supreme Court fight gives Biden the reset he’s been looking for

But first: We told you that President Biden and congressional Democrats needed a reset, and it looks like they”;re going to get it in the coming weeks as they get to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.

Need to improve the president”;s declining poll numbers among Black voters? Fulfilling his promise to appoint a Black woman to the court can certainly help.

Want to get your party fired up ahead of the midterms as Republicans enjoy an enthusiasm advantage? A debate over the court –; and especially one involving abortion –; can do the trick.

Spotify is down more than 25% since Joe Rogan ramped up his attacks of the vaccine on their platform…; they paid him $100 million for this #SpotifyDeleted

–; LeGate (@williamlegate) January 27, 2022


How many lockdown parties did Boris Johnson and staff attend? Here”;s a guide.

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police announced a criminal investigation into “;potential breaches”; of lockdown rules over the past two years, at Downing Street and other government buildings in London. Civil servant Sue Gray is leading another inquiry, with a report expected this week.

Here”;s a rundown of claims they may be looking at.

Justices selected with consciousness they represent a group previously excluded from Supreme Court: asterisk, dubious Justices selected based on perceived reliability in achieving narrow and specific doctrinal results: merit based, admirable

–; LesserHat* (@Popehat) January 27, 2022

Zack Beauchamp/Vox interviews Lee Drutman, political scientist:

How to depolarize a country

An expert makes a strong argument for transforming the way American elections work. But could it ever happen?

I think there are two ways that I would think about this in the current system.

One is just a practical challenge. Say you”;re a Democrat and you think the Republican Party is incredibly dangerous: a party that”;s been taken over by an extreme illiberal faction. Yet Republicans keep winning elections because they”;re the default party for the [part] of the country that sees the Democrats as the opposition, or can”;t bring themselves to vote for Democrats. So that”;s a problem because I don”;t see any way in which Democrats win an overwhelming national majority.

But what if there were a center-right party that could get 15 percent of the vote? [They] could align with Democrats to have a supermajority pro-democracy coalition, as you see in many other countries with proportional multi-party systems –; Israel being a recent example.

So that”;s on the practical side of how you get out of this. And then the other question that I think is worth asking is: Why did the Republican Party go so crazy? And I think a lot of that does have to do with the binary party system.

If you are a plurality of a plurality, as I think the MAGA faction initially was, you can take over one of the two major parties and there”;s nowhere else for folks in that party to go –; unless they want to join the opposing party. And this binary us-against-them mentality, it creates a political situation in which the Republicans basically had to double down on racist rhetoric because their economic policies were incredibly unpopular. They could do that in a two-party system, because there are only two [options].

This is the argument for cutting Never Trumpers slack. Let Matthew Dowd and others form a center-right party and draw from former Republicans.

This is probably the best any party could hope for with a big legislative item like this a year in, the issue is they just can’t pass it and move on. So many things went wrong for Ds, “national backlash to BBB” is the one that hasn’t (yet) and it’s actually quite impressive.

–; Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) January 26, 2022

Media Matters:

QAnon influencers are urging followers to get involved locally and with school boards

The influencers”; calls may be showing signs of impact, with some QAnon supporters claiming they”;ve taken action in response. Some wrote that they were “;running for school board”; or were “;in charge of my kids school board now.”; Others wrote that they were helping to get “;citizens involved on every level…city/county government, election boards, school boards, etc.,”; or that they were “;going to keep going every month”; to school board meetings to attack mandates, noting that sometimes they were one of the few people there. “;GhostEzra,”; a neo-Nazi QAnon influencer, encouraged followers to run for office; in response, several said that they were “;thinking about running for school board”; or other offices like city council, including one follower who appeared to be a poll worker who was called as a “;witness”; by the Arizona state legislature following the 2020 presidential election to push voter fraud claims.

What @SenatorSinema hath wrought: limiting “all voting to Election Day, requiring all voting be in-person & mandating officials count all ballots by hand w/in 24 hours….the Legislature shall review the ballot-counting process “& on review shall accept or reject the results”

–; Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) January 27, 2022

Dahlia Lithwick/Slate:

Virginia Schools Are Melting Down

In his first week on the job, Gov. Glenn Youngkin created a crisis.

The author of this hard day? Not the courts, not the school districts, not the principals, and not these children or their parents. The author was the guy who signed a nonsensical order without thinking through the repercussions.

The best way to ensure public contempt for every level of government is by pitting various parts of it against one another, dumping it all on the courts to resolve, and then telling a million parents to do whatever they want in the interim (just do it with “;love”;). It hardly matters what a court says at this juncture–;parents have been told to defy any authority but their own. Teaching just became significantly harder in Virginia. And so did learning, if that”;s something they still care about

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