Remember, They Felt This Was Their Best Option

Let’s work backwards from the necessary outcome of an impeachment trial that was always about political survival and never a search for the truth. To avoid their undoing, Senate Republicans had to find a way to make impeachment disappear without admitting Trump did anything wrong, preferably in time for him to take a victory lap […]


In my year-end post, I raised the possibility that a large portion of the country is poised to reject the outcome of this year’s election, regardless of what that outcome might be. That’s because the 2020 election will be about whether to bring the Trump Reaction to an end or ratify it. Barring an unlikely […]

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 — […]

The Airing of Grievances

About a month ago, I predicted that House Republicans would try to upend the impeachment process rather than engage Democrats on the facts. I thought they would continue to push debunked narratives about Hunter Biden and alleged Ukrainian election interference, complain about the majority’s unwillingness to let them call witnesses who would advance those debunked […]


If (like me) you’re old enough to remember Richard Nixon, you should be able to recall how the country felt in 1974. There was a sense of moment, a deep and abiding feeling that something somber and monumental was happening, shared by Americans regardless of where they stood on the question of Nixon’s guilt. Sober […]

Ronald McDonald Exits Stage Right

We are witnessing the end of a political regime in real time. It may not be fully apparent just yet, but the curtain is coming down on a forty-year political alignment that began with Ronald Reagan and will end with Donald Trump — what I will call the Ronald McDonald Era. Its replacement will look […]

It All Fits Together

The question I am asked most these days is, “can you please explain what’s going on?” So I thought it might be a good time to step back and look at where we are, as I periodically do, and try to make sense of the chaotic and cascading events that now define our time. In […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]