Have Democrats Learned ANYTHING About How The Trumps Roll?
A shady deal with Univision and botched Supreme Court investigation suggest they haven't
Remember a couple weeks back when I offered qualified praise to Dick Durbin and Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats for deciding, at long last, to escalate their investigation of the Supreme Court’s right-wing bribery scandal?
What’s happened since is a return to form. The short version is, they canceled their plan to authorize subpoenas for Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo, and haven’t rescheduled it.
The long version isn’t much longer. First, committee Republicans did exactly what you’d expect: pretended to be outraged, threatened retaliation, and promised to force committee Democrats to vote on scores of super scary culture-war measures.
Second, committee Democrats also did exactly what you’d expect: collapsed into disarray, and delayed the subpoena vote indefinitely. They lacked the lockstep opposition required to vote down these GOP amendments one by one, and punted to buy time to regroup. Now we’re in limbo.
It’s a microcosm of the party’s broad abdication of agenda setting power in the Senate. And it came to mind once again in recent days thanks to an unrelated but thematically similar, highly consequential story about Univision’s abrupt pro-MAGA turn.
If you haven’t read this already, you’ll want to. It’s left Democrats deeply unsettled. They were surprised as everyone to see Univision offer Donald Trump a fawning, hour-long, primetime interview earlier this month, particularly after the abuse he heaped on the network during his presidency and first campaign; they were stunned when Univision summarily canceled ads the Biden campaign had purchased to run during the interview, citing an undisclosed policy the network, by all appearances, adopted special for Trump; they’re aghast that Univision tried to create the false impression that it approached the Biden campaign with the same offer; and now they’re really worried, because they see Univision prevailing on local affiliates to pull popular programming off the air to carry Trump rallies live.
They’re upset, and understandably so, about the effect that transforming the most watched Spanish-language news network into a pro-Trump propaganda outlet will have on the election. It caught my attention because of the role Jared Kushner seems to have played behind the scenes with network executives to land the interview and seemingly draw Univision into a new, pro-MAGA incarnation.
Maybe it all came together through an above-board process of relationship-building and persuasion. But if you’ve followed Kushner’s trajectory through American political life, and then as an international influence merchant, you’ll be highly skeptical. There’s almost certainly something seedy at the heart of this arrangement.