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Transitions

We are in a period of dramatic transition, but we can’t see our destination and that makes the journey unsettling. For decades we have taken for granted the terms of political and social engagement. We could anticipate how political figures would behave, and we had a shared sense of political and policy boundaries. Not so today, when we don’t know … Read More

Conflict and Accountability

I have long viewed the Trump administration as a reactionary three-act play. I described Act I as an “orgy of norm destruction enabled by congressional Republicans boxed in politically by their embrace of an outlaw administration,” and felt Act II would be characterized by discovery, where Democrats — newly armed with their congressional majority — would offer the country “a … Read More

Scenarios

Disclaimer: It’s silly to try to predict the outcome of the Democratic primary race so long before the actual voting begins (and — yes — it’s a long time until February). Still, one of the two questions I’m asked most often is who I think the Democrats are going to nominate (the other is what I think will happen with the … Read More

Enemy of the Good

Note to Democrats: As you begin the holiday shopping phase of the primary campaign, searching for someone who can eject Donald Trump from the White House, please keep in mind that there is no perfect candidate. Not this year, not ever. Whoever is sitting in the last remaining seat when the music finally stops will be an imperfect vessel for … Read More

Go Big or Go Back

Deval Patrick is running for president. Michael Bloomberg is sort of running for president. Because what the Democratic field needs is more candidates. We’re less than three months away from actual voting, and the structure of the Democratic primary looks nothing like the conventional wisdom of last summer, when I suggested that the Joe Biden-as-sure-thing narrative was a Beltway concoction … Read More

What You Wish For

Jimmy Carter wanted to run against Ronald Reagan. Having lost the support of the public over a miserable economy and the never-ending Iranian Hostage Crisis, he understood that his path to re-election depended on having an unacceptable opponent. In Reagan, it was as if Carter’s ideal foil had been sent by Central Casting. A movement conservative who had fronted for … Read More

Revisiting Act II

Six months ago, I started writing about the Trump administration as a reactionary play in three acts.  As the impeachment process takes hold, let’s revisit that framework. On March 7, I wrote: Act I was an orgy of norm destruction enabled by congressional Republicans boxed in politically by their embrace of an outlaw administration, where congress and the president operated … Read More

It’s Not Your Imagination–This IS Different

This is what an inflection point looks like. We’re four days into a concerted impeachment investigation by the House of Representatives and some of the core political dynamics that were propping up the administration are starting to buckle.  To review, one week ago we were living in a polarized world where a small, defiant Republican base drove political outcomes while … Read More

Inflection Point

We have reached an inflection point in the struggle between confrontation and accountability. Last Saturday, I suggested that the Ukraine story would break the logjam on impeachment if the substance of the scandal overpowered a set of political dynamics which for the better part of this year have led congressional Democratic leadership to hold the line against intense and repeated … Read More

What’s Holding Things In Place

With the explosion of the whistleblower story this week, I’m being asked if credible allegations that Donald Trump is extorting Ukraine to undermine Joe Biden will finally — finally — break the political logjam preventing congress from holding Trump accountable for his actions.  I do think there is a well-placed urgency around this story that distinguishes it from the scandals … Read More

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