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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

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

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