Trump plays the hits on Meet the Press, Missouri gubernatorial candidate vows to burn books.

Plus, Wisconsin Republicans continue to assault democracy.


Over the weekend, former president Donald Trump spoke with Kristen Welker on “Meet the Press” in what was billed as his “first network interview since leaving office.” The most indicted man on Earth brought out many of the usual hits — the elections were stolen, the media was unfair, the charges brought against him are unfounded, etc. — but he also provided some novel insights into his... "thought process.”

For example, Trump implored Republicans to stop pushing for a total ban of abortion without exception: “I watch some of them without the exceptions, et cetera, et cetera,” Trump explained “I said, ‘Other than certain parts of the country, you can’t — you’re not going to win on this issue. But you will win on this issue when you come up with the right number of weeks.”

The former president also stated that, contrary to popular belief, he thought democracy was the best form of government — though he did not believe the United States was currently practicing it: “But it has to be a democracy that’s fair. This democracy… I don't consider us to have much of a democracy right now," Trump said.

But as WCPT host Edwin Eisendrath pointed out, how productive is relitigating Trump’s dog-and-pony show for our civic health?

“[This] might be good for NBC’s ratings, but it is bad for democracy. What news is [Welker] looking for?” he writes. “Flash: Trump told another lie. Flash: Trump seemed to provide more evidence for prosecutors. Give us a break. He is not news; he is an addiction.”

Some clarity on a recent clip being shared around the web: Claims that Missouri state Sens. Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring) and Nick Schroer (R-Lake St. Louis) incinerated boxes of books with flamethrowers in a video were not factual. The event was not a book burning, as some claimed. Engel, who is running to be on the GOP’s governor ticket, maintained that their targets were empty cardboard boxes meant to represent “what I am going to do to the leftist policies and RINO corruption of the Jeff City swamp.”

Don’t worry, though! Eigel still found a way to make the micro-controversy incredibly weird and fascist.

“But let’s be clear, you bring those woke pornographic books to Missouri schools to try to brainwash our kids, and I’ll burn those too - on the front lawn of the governor’s mansion,” he added.

Wisconsin voters do not want to see the newly-elected justice impeached

As Wisconsin Republicans threaten to impeach Janet Protasiewicz, the state’s recently elected Supreme Court justice, new polling suggests that substantially more voters oppose the move by the state’s Legislature. A survey conducted by A Better Wisconsin Together found that “nearly twice as many oppose impeachment (47%) as support it (24%).”

“In fact, a plurality of voters (39%) strongly opposes impeachment and independents

oppose impeachment by a larger 27-point margin,” the expenditure committee added. “And Democrats are more consolidated against impeachment (80%) than Republicans are in support of it (55%).”

Additionally, a plurality of voters in the Badger State expressed deep antipathy of the GOP-led legislature: 51% of voters disapprove of the GOP leadership within the legislature.

The grounds for potentially impeaching Protasiewicz, who won her election handily, are shaky at best. Republicans are demanding she recuse herself from cases concerned with gerrymandering because the justice had made statements about the “unfair” and “rigged” nature of the state’s electoral process. (To be clear: It is well-documented that it is!)

But House Speaker Robin Vos (R) stated in a recent interview on talk radio that he believes that such statements mean Protasiewicz is prejudging cases.

"If there's any semblance of honor on the state Supreme Court left, you cannot have a person who runs for the court prejudging a case and being open about it, and then acting on the case as if you're an impartial observer,” he said.

"You cannot have a judge who said, you know, the maps are rigged because she bought into the argument that that's why we're winning elections, not the quality of our candidates, and then she sits on that trial acting like she's gonna listen and hear both sides fairly − that just can't happen."

Indeed, a lawsuit launched by conservative voters also insisted Protasiewicz recuse herself from their case, which seeks to overturn the remapping of the state’s legislative districts on the grounds that “the existing boundaries are unconstitutional.” The lawsuit would also like the court to “draw new boundaries and order special elections.”

Such maneuvers come after the GOP-led Legislature spent last week attempting to remove Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, the highest-ranked election official in the state.

Poll Watchers

With the 2024 election coming into view, it appears that voters are much more concerned (both in a positive and negative sense) about Trump than they are about Biden. From CNN:

Subscribe to The Lede

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson