The House GOP’s impeachment gambit is extremely risky

Before the impeachment hearings into President Trump’s extortion and bribery plot against the government of Ukraine began, leading Republicans had a strategic choice: They could, as some pro-Trump analysts were urging them to do, frame the inquiry with a narrative that what Trump did was wrong but not impeachable. He obviously should not have dangled a White House meeting and jammed up military aid in exchange for an announcement from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he was opening investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, as well as Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election, but nor should he be removed from office for doing so. This was the… Read More

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Economic populism is the new center

When people talk about the political center, they often seem to picture some kind of middle ground where people can come together, work out their political differences, and develop practical solutions to problems. The “center” is ostensibly a place where a majority of people can find some agreement, and centrist leaders like to think of themselves as those who possess the unique ability to unite people from across the aisle. Even at a time when political polarization is at an apparent all-time high, many Beltway pundits and establishment Democrats are still desperately trying to find this middle ground. That search has led many establishment Democrats on a still ongoing quest… Read More

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Dazed and confused at the Democrats’ impeachment hearing

The best thing that can be said about Wednesday’s impeachment hearing is that at least some people got to drink because of it. The bars in Washington were open early, and members of my profession were able to conduct themselves much as they had in happier times. I do wonder what George Kent had inside that water bottle. The bow-tied deputy assistant secretary of state doesn’t strike me as the day-drinking type, but you never know. He spent most of the morning sounding like an over-eager president of the George Washington University Model United Nations addressing his peers at an invitation-only conference in Cambridge, but by about 2 p.m. he… Read More

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Why Republicans should admit there was a quid pro quo

Any discussion of Wednesday’s impeachment hearings should begin with two acknowledgements. First, regardless of what happens, no matter how many stories are written about the testimony of an ever-increasing number of witnesses with varying degrees of credibility or how dastardly the plot is made to sound on cable television and on the campaign trail, the result is going to be anticlimactic. Even if the current proceedings eventually lead to an up-or-down vote on impeachment (which is far from certain), the Republican-controlled Senate is not going to remove President Trump from office. As Matthew Continetti put it recently, it’s like knowing what the score of a football game is going to… Read More

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Trump’s authentically untruthful response to impeachment

In the last minute of a Today interview on her new book Tuesday, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley described President Trump as a “truthful” person. Did Haley have “any doubt about his truthfulness, his ability to tell the truth?” asked host Savannah Guthrie. “Did you think he was a truthful person?” “Yes,” Haley replied. “In every instance that I dealt with him, he was truthful, he listened, and he was great to work with.” It is possible, I suppose, that Haley’s personal interactions with the president were so limited that she either never encountered or never recognized any of the literally thousands of lies — many of them petty,… Read More

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DACA is doomed

The Supreme Court is scheduled today to hear arguments about the future of DACA. That it has to address this issue at all is bizarre. The Court, after all, is where the country goes to resolve its biggest and most intractable disagreements. But the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — which protects many young migrants from deportation — is something Americans of all stripes actually support. As many as nine in 10 poll respondents say the so-called “DREAMers” should have a path to citizenship. Crucially, that is a view shared by most Republicans, even though President Trump announced the end of the program in 2017. DACA is popular.… Read More

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