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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

Impeachment Isn’t About Removal

Now that Democrats have quietly initiated an impeachment inquiry, they have put into motion a process that will end with either articles of impeachment or a tortured explanation for not impeaching a president who has made high crimes his brand. Unless and until they are able to hold hearings that focus the public’s collective attention on the collusion (it’s in … Read More

House Democrats Step Into the Impeachment Abyss

You can be forgiven for missing it, but this week the House of Representatives officially began an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. Democratic leaders will try to avoid putting labels on what’s happening to protect wary members from Trump districts, but make no mistake: Democrats just fired up the impeachment machinery and we are moving down a path toward what … Read More

The Civil War Election

During my time in Washington last month, I had the opportunity to ask an informed observer of the political scene if 2020 is shaping up to be a change election, along the lines of 2008, 2010, 2016 and 2018. He equivocated. Given how early it is, I couldn’t blame him. In hindsight, though, I may have asked the wrong question. … Read More

Warning Signs

Yes it’s early, but the Biden campaign is on a troublesome trajectory for reasons that stretch beyond how Kamala Harris dominated Biden in the first debate. I wrote recently that Biden’s debate performance undermined his carefully constructed aura of inevitability and damaged his claim that he is the best Democrat to take on Donald Trump. But his troubles run deeper … Read More

Unelectable

Ronald Reagan was unelectable in 1980. Way out of the mainstream, a product of the same conservative movement responsible for the Goldwater debacle sixteen years earlier. Dangerously trigger-happy while the Cold War was still raging. The public will never accept him. Jimmy Carter couldn’t wait to run against him. Bill Clinton was unelectable in 1992. Way too much baggage. He … Read More

What Harris Did

So much has been written about this past week’s two-day overhyped marathon Democratic presidential debate that it’s difficult to add anything new or original. We’re already seeing early data that reaffirms initial social media reactions about winners and losers, namely that Elizabeth Warren impressed on Wednesday, Kamala Harris dominated on Thursday, Julián Castro enhanced his profile a lot, Corey Booker … Read More

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