Center Folds

Angus King could be the loneliest man in Washington. The independent senator from Maine occupies an almost entirely vacant space in America politics: The Center. And from his view, things look bad. “King views the current crisis as existential for the country: both Republican and Democratic voters increasingly fear that the other side is stealing elections. ‘I have never been so worried about the future of the country,’ King told me. ‘I lived through the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam and the recession of 2008. What worries me is that the structure of our system is at risk.’ Informal talks between centrist Republicans and Democrats continue, but the Senate’s inability to agree on how to protect democracy is the latest sign that the Trumpian tactic of energizing, turning out, and, in some cases, misleading one’s political base is more effective than centrism at winning elections.” (Yes, the polarization is dangerous and must be addressed. But only one side is promoting the most dangerous threats to democracy: The Big Lie and its weaponization aimed at limiting to the right to vote.) David Rohde in The New Yorker: The Senate’s Dangerous Inability to Protect Democracy. The struggles of Angus King reflect the rise of Trumpism over centrism.

+ “The committee is continuing to widen its scope into Trump’s orbit, on Tuesday demanding information and testimony from Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Boris Epshteyn.” Rudy Giuliani among Trump allies subpoenaed by Jan. 6 panel. On one hand, we have a panel calling for testimony from those who tried to steal an election by pushing The Big Lie. On the other hand, we have politicians all over the country using that Big Lie to create laws to more effectively steal the next election.

+ AP: “Senators opened an emotional, raw debate Wednesday on voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital for protecting democracy but that’s almost certain to be defeated without a filibuster rules change.”

+ At a moment when Americans should be breaking the glass and pulling the lever in alarm over democracy’s fade, why isn’t there more concern? Here’s one reason: Almost seven in ten people worry they are being lied to by journalists.

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