RNC Day 2: A lineup of losers bend the knee to Trump

The second night of the Republican National Convention was a who’s who of the GOP’s biggest losers. If you previously ran against Donald Trump in a primary, or were humiliated and debased repeatedly by the convicted felon, there was a very good chance you were speaking in Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Tech broseph Stalin wannabe Vivek Ramaswamy started things off by telling America that in the face of all evidence to the contrary, the Republican Party loves Black and Latino Americans. The memo going out to GOP speakers, if they happen to be one of the few people of color, seems to be that they must say Republicans like famous racist landlord Trump are not racist.

Next up was the world’s most humiliated man, Sen. Ted Cruz. You might remember how Cruz called Trump a “sniveling coward” for attacking his wife and father? On Tuesday, Cruz came out to tell a terrible, and entirely fabricated, tale of how America is “facing an invasion on our southern border. Not figuratively. A literal invasion. 11.5 million people have crossed our border illegally under Joe Biden.” It isn’t true, but whatevs. Kiss that ring, Lyin’ Ted!

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Schiff wants Biden to withdraw, while Democrats plan early nomination

California Rep. Adam Schiff on Wednesday became the highest-profile Democrat to call for President Joe Biden to drop his reelection bid, as the party pushed ahead with plans to hold a virtual vote to formally make Biden its nominee in the first week of August before the party’s convention opens in person two weeks later.

The move to schedule the roll call vote comes after nearly 20 Democratic members of Congress have called on Biden to withdraw from the presidential race in the wake of his halting debate performance against Republican former President Donald Trump last month. Among Democrats nationwide, nearly two-thirds say Biden should step aside and let his party nominate a different candidate, according to an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Wednesday, sharply undercutting his post-debate claim that “average Democrats” are still with him even if some “big names” are turning on him.

“While the choice to withdraw from the campaign is President Biden’s alone, I believe it is time for him to pass the torch,” Schiff, a key Nancy Pelosi ally who is running for Senate this year, said in a statement. “And in doing so, secure his legacy of leadership by allowing us to defeat Donald Trump in the upcoming election.”

Schiff’s announcement comes after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries encouraged the Democratic National Convention to delay for a week plans to hold the virtual vote to renominate Biden, which could have taken place as soon as Sunday, according to two people familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

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Biden wants to reform the Supreme Court. So do Americans

On Tuesday evening, The Washington Post reported that President Joe Biden is preparing to announce his support for major reforms to the Supreme Court. Rather than call for immediate expansion of the court or for the impeachment of justices clearly violating the court’s toothless ethics guidelines, Biden will seek to establish term limits and an enforceable code of ethics.

Biden is also considering whether to promote a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s recent decision giving presidents broad immunity from prosecution.

While not offering the prospect of immediate relief from the precedent-breaking rulings of this ultraconservative court, Biden’s proposals would bring serious (and overdue) changes to the court—and they’re some of the most consequential ever put forward. The proposals also have the advantage of not being overtly partisan or created to generate a particular end, unlike court expansion. They also have the advantage of being really smart politics.

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Trump shooter remains an elusive enigma

After three days, an enigmatic portrait emerged of the 20-year-old man who came close to killing former President Donald Trump with a high-velocity bullet: He was an intelligent loner with few friends, an apparently thin social media footprint, and no hints of strong political beliefs that would suggest a motive for an attempted assassination.

Even after the FBI cracked into Thomas Matthew Crooks’ cellphone, scoured his computer, home, and car, and interviewed more than 100 people, the mystery of why he opened fire on Trump’s rally Saturday, wounding the GOP nominee, remained as elusive as the moment it happened.

“He sat by himself, didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t even try to make conversation,” said 17-year-old Liam Campbell, echoing the comments of classmates who remembered the shooter in this quiet community outside of Pittsburgh. “He was an odd kid,” but nothing about him seemed dangerous, he added. “Just a normal person who seemed like he didn’t like talking to people.”

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Twice-divorced Trump’s new running mate wants to restrict divorce

No one goes into a marriage hoping for a divorce. It’s an unhappy end to what should be a source of happiness. However, like abortion, divorce is a personal choice—one that is sadly sometimes necessary to protect life or health.

And divorce, like abortion, is something that conservative Republicans are now trying to take away.

Among conservatives, there’s a longing for a time when divorce was both difficult and shameful. Divorce, especially no-fault divorce, has long been fingered by some conservatives as the root of many, if not all, evils. Some of the worst in Congress, like Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, have advocated the idea of ending no-fault divorce.

Now those conservatives think they have their champion in Donald Trump’s running mate, JD Vance, who insists that women should be locked into “even violent” marriages.

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It’s official: GOP will accept election results only if Trump wins

Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he will accept the results of the 2024 election only if he believes it’s “fair”—i.e., if he wins. Judging by whom the Republican National Committee chose to feature at the convention, that now appears to be the official party line. Election denial—past and present—is orthodoxy.

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Biden says he won’t ‘stop telling the truth’ about Trump

President Joe Biden returned to the campaign trail on Tuesday for the first time since the attempted assassination of Donald Trump, continuing his calls to calm the divisive rhetoric on both sides but also arguing that doing so “doesn’t mean we should stop telling the truth” about his Republican rival.

Addressing the NAACP convention in Las Vegas, Biden said curbing political violence in the country should mean combating all kinds of bloodshed—including reducing police brutality and banning weapons like the AR-style rifle used in the weekend attack on the former president.

“Our politics have become too heated,” Biden said.

That didn’t stop him from tearing into Trump, though, listing why the former president’s administration was “hell” for Black Americans, including his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, skyrocketing unemployment amid early lockdowns and attempts to, as Biden put it, erase Black history.

“Just because we must lower the temperature in our politics as it relates to violence doesn’t mean we should stop telling the truth,” Biden told the crowd that often broke into chants of “Four more years!”

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Morning Digest: What Bob Menendez’s conviction means for New Jersey’s Senate race

The Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from the Daily Kos Elections team.

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Leading Off

● NJ-Sen: New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez was convicted in federal court Tuesday on all 16 counts of corruption he was charged with last year and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 29. However, while it remains likely that Rep. Andy Kim, who won the Democratic primary for Menendez’s Senate seat in June, will succeed the incumbent in the 119th Congress, there are many questions about just what will happen next.

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Cartoon: Lowering the temperature

A cartoon by Jen Sorensen.

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