Angus Johnston Profile picture
Historian of, and advocate for, American student activism. CUNY prof. Former yacht chef.
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Oct 6, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Dean Heller (R-NV) just voted to confirm Kavanaugh. He recently called the sexual assault allegations against the judge "a little hiccup." He's up for re-election next month. Jacky Rosen, Heller's Democratic opponent, said Kavanaugh "lacks the impartiality, the integrity, and the judicial temperament to sit on the Supreme Court." 538 says she has a 52.9% chance of winning. You can donate to her campaign here.…
Oct 6, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Yep. It's not "young people don't vote," it's "each one of us, when we're young, is less likely to vote than we will be when we get older." And there are practical, structural reasons for that—things that we can change. It's not that we don't know how to make it easier and more attractive for people to vote. It's that a lot of people in power—disproportionately, though not exclusively, Republicans—aren't interested in doing so.
Oct 5, 2018 7 tweets 1 min read
Just a reminder that the vote that's happening right now is a vote invoke cloture—to limit debate and move to a vote on the nomination. Voting yes now (as Collins, for one, will do) isn't a tell on your vote tomorrow. That said, Murkowski voting no is ... quite interesting.
Oct 5, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
David Brooks thinks the problem with people's responses to the Kavanaugh nomination is that they predictably adopted positions in line with their prior sociocultural commitments. Which position is, of course, predictable and in line with his prior sociocultural commitments. "People formed their opinions on Kavanaugh mechanically and predictably!" says Brooks, in a column that anyone who's ever read two Brooks columns could have dictated verbatim a week ago.
Oct 5, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
An interesting, easy to miss, sentence from WaPo's piece on Manchin and the Kavanaugh vote tonight. Note the phrasing here—Republicans think they can get Manchin "if they can get 50" votes without him. But they only need a total of 50, since Pence can break a tie if needed.
Oct 4, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
Each of my kids has gotten into an argument about Kavanaugh with a boy in their grade this week. By their accounts, both of them won. The eleven-year-old cornered a kid she'd heard supported Kavanaugh, and he told her he had a bet with three other kids over whether any evidence against him would emerge.
Oct 3, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Every single one of the prominent Republicans so ardently defending Kavanaugh’s honor would heave a huge sigh of relief if he got flattened by a rogue asteroid tomorrow. Every single one. They’re fighting for Kavanaugh because they got locked in and don’t have the guts to knock the door down. This isn’t principle for them, or strategy. It’s abject terror.
Oct 2, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
Madness > UB40

#topicalcontent Because I am home now, and still not over being annoyed at being reminded that UB40 exists, I'll be listening to One Step Beyond on repeat for the rest of the evening. That is all. End of transmission.
Sep 30, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
One weird thing about this tweet—which I've now seen a bunch of times in my timeline. The waitress called it a sexual assault. In the article. That Ted Kennedy article, BTW, tells you a lot that's relevant right now about the culture of the eighties, and not just in what it describes but also in the way the article itself is written.
Sep 28, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
If Kavanaugh's confirmation were a foregone conclusion, it would have happened already. It's not done until it's done. If the GOP had the votes to move forward without a hearing on Blasey Ford, they would have done it. If they had the votes to move forward without an FBI investigation, they would have done it. They don't have 50 votes yet. Period.
Sep 28, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
On the Kavanaugh vote, my sense is that six votes are in play right now: Collins, Murkowski, Manchin, Heitkamp, and Donnelly. That could shift depending on what the FBI finds, but if there are no bombshells, they're likely it. Flake has to be assumed to be a likely "yes" vote, since that's how he initially came out today, and Donnelly a likely "no" for the same reason, but Donnelly emphasized process issues in his statement this morning, so he could move.
Sep 28, 2018 33 tweets 4 min read
Judiciary Committee in recess amid stories that Flake is caucusing with Coons for unknown reasons. CNN showing the clip of Flake's elevator encounter with survivors of sexual abuse from earlier in the day. Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh nom in less than fifteen minutes. Lots of whispering happening. People ducking in and out of the room to confer.
Sep 28, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
By my count we're down to five officially undecided. Collins, Murkowski, Tester, Manchin, Heitkamp. Two GOP, three Dem. Three women, two men. (Mistyped last time, so deleted and reposted.)
Sep 28, 2018 12 tweets 2 min read
I think the Dems did just fine, and I think the idea that there was something they could have done but didn't to change the outcome is magical thinking. Ford was more compelling than expected yesterday, and Kavanaugh was a trainwreck in ways nobody anticipated. If he's confirmed, it's not because the hearing went well for him.
Sep 28, 2018 9 tweets 4 min read
We know two things for certain: That she told the truth as best she was able, and he lied without compunction. Most of the rest of what we know flows from those two facts. #KavanaughHearings Ford spoke carefully, thoughtfully, forthrightly, even where doing so undermined her current rhetorical point. Kavanaugh issued flatly preposterous untruths without blinking. #KavanaughHearings
Sep 23, 2018 29 tweets 4 min read
Bret Stephens says that if you say "I believe Blasey" your statement is "empirically worthless and intellectually dishonest." Here, quickly, is why I believe he's wrong. When you say that you believe Christine Blasey Ford, you're saying that her account, in the context of everything that surrounds it, has the ring of truth to you—that the available evidence is evidence you find compelling.
Sep 22, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Garrett Ventry, communications staffer for the GOP majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee and a point person on Kavanaugh's assault allegations, is out because of past sexual harassment. And it turns out Garrett Ventry was a temp hire for GOP SJC, brought on specifically to do comms for the Kavanaugh team.
Sep 22, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
This from Grassley is just a lie. It's just a lie. Christine Blasey Ford hasn't been given "five extensions." She was given an ultimatum with an arbitrary deadline, she made a counter-proposal, they gave her another ultimatum, and so on. We learned today that Ford has been separated from her sons for most of the past week, so that they could continue to go to school while she and her husband have been hiding from Kavanaugh supporters in a hotel.
Sep 21, 2018 12 tweets 3 min read
Lost track of time, but just tuned in to the Cruz/O'Rourke debate—on CSPAN now, for the next hour. God, Ted Cruz is such a creepy little troll.
Sep 21, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Just got a reminder of something I should have realized before: People are muting keywords to avoid hearing about the Kavanaugh allegations, so to help them not see those tweets, we need to be sure those keywords are in them. Doesn't need to be a content note, doesn't need to be explicit. Just pick a word that people will have muted, and work it into your tweet naturally—as I did with "Kavanaugh" in the tweet above. I'm sorry for not doing that up to now, and I'll be sure to do it going forward.
Sep 21, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
I’ve now had three people bring this idea—that the guy Whelan accused was a willing participant in Whelan’s fiasco—into my mentions. Come on. No. The guy is a middle-school teacher. He’s coach of his school’s debate team. Someone whose career is mentoring 13-year-olds doesn’t volunteer to be falsely identified as a rapist.