The TAKE with Rick Klein
One could look at the headlines -- a 41-month sentence for the "QAnon shaman," Steve Bannon under indictment for defying a congressional subpoena, Rep. Paul Gosar censured and stripped of his committees for posting a violent video targeting colleagues -- and conclude that justice is being served surrounding political violence and threats thereof.
One could look a bit deeper -- at attempts to rewrite the history of Jan. 6, at Bannon's vow to "go on offense" against President Joe Biden and his Department of Justice, at GOP threats to do to Democrats what was just done to Gosar -- and see how deeply party affiliation runs, particularly among those loyal to former President Donald Trump.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, more confident than ever that he will be the next House speaker, suggested that under the "Pelosi precedent" Democrats who have made controversial statements could be stripped of their committees under GOP control of the House.
"What they have started," McCarthy said, "cannot easily be undone."
Suggesting that Democrats are responsible for a rhetorical escalation doesn't fit with recent facts, just as efforts to explain Jan. 6 as the actions of well-meaning patriots doesn't fit with how even McCarthy saw those events in real time.
It can be simultaneously true that justice is being meted out for those associated with advocating political violence and that Republicans feel better about their electoral prospects while largely sticking by Trump and his type of politics.
But that makes for a significant disconnect about which kind of behaviors are acceptable in politics and which are not. That matters for the everyday activities of Congress and for calculations about what works moving forward.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
As Vice President Kamala Harris prepares to sell the bipartisan infrastructure plan in Ohio Friday, she's addressing concerns about inflation.
In an interview airing Thursday with "Good Morning America" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos, Harris doubled down on the social spending proposed in the Build Back Better plan as a means to lower the costs of living.
The plan faces opposition from those, including consistent Democratic spoiler Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., concerned that the Build Back Better plan could make inflation worse.
"Talk to 17 Nobel Laureates who are economists who actually have studied the issue and have indicated that we're not looking at a contribution to inflation, but actually we're getting prices down," said Harris.
Harris' coming trip is one of many Democrats have planned to tout the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure plan signed into law Monday. Democratic members of Congress are planning to hold 1,000 events before the end of the year.
"It's historic in nature. At least the biggest investment in infrastructure in a generation in America," said Harris.
The TIP with Alisa Wiersema
Former Georgia Sen. David Perdue appears to be continuing his public courting of the possibility of mounting a challenge to incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp.
In a tweeted response to the state's Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Perdue laid blame for his 2020 loss on the state's executive leaders by claiming it was "hard" to come out on top "when our "conservative" state leaders caved to (Stacey Abrams and) gave her everything she wanted (and) more."
"Why didn't you fight for all of us then instead of fighting us now? You guys are too focused on fighting Trump, instead of stopping Biden & saving (Georgia)," Perdue continued. Perdue's comments were a response to Duncan criticizing the former senator's rhetoric as ineffective in overcoming Jon Ossoff in last year's Senate election.
The social media spat offers a window into how diverging Republican paths in one of the nation's most high-profile battleground states could play out in the coming year. Perdue's track would likely focus on pledging loyalty to Trump, who himself repeatedly lashed out at Kemp in the aftermath of 2020.
For his part, Kemp -- who is currently attending the annual meeting of the Republican Governors Association -- is already laying the groundwork to champion his policies. In a recently released ad, Kemp touts his position on supporting police and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Thursday morning's episode begins with the exoneration of two men convicted and jailed for the assassination of Malcolm X. ABC News' Linsey Davis looks at the investigation that cleared them. Then, ABC News' George Stephanopoulos discusses his exclusive interview with Vice President Kamala Harris and the administration's efforts to bolster the economy heading into the holiday season. And, we break down alarming new CDC data showing drug overdoses reaching an alarming level with ABC News' Sony Salzman. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
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