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Gravity

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 and shrewd, Richard Nixon was … 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

Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

I just completed the first of three weeks in Washington running my annual program for Villanova, and while the humidity was refreshingly low, the political barometric pressure was intense. Despite what they are saying in front of cameras, Democrats are out of patience with the unprecedented obstruction they have been facing from the Trump administration and the desire to move … Read More

The Slow Motion Constitutional Crisis

It’s been a month since I posted about the second act of the three-act play that is the Trump presidency, which I suggested would be marked by conflict and accountability. Actually, I said that conflict is inevitable and accountability is possible, and in the intervening weeks we’ve started to see what that looks like. Let’s focus on two examples: the … Read More

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