Trump Said Too Much Too Soon
Plus: Impeachment Is Just Another Word for Getting Even now.
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CHARLIE SYKES: This is the Big One
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A.B. STODDARD: Trump Said Too Much Too Soon.
DONALD TRUMP HAS CHOSEN to make “dictator” his brand. No one made him do it. But the fact that he did, eleven months before the election, is a good thing.
Trump’s plans to destroy our foundational checks and balances and rule as a king hadn’t penetrated much beyond political insiders and Washington think tanks until the last few weeks—when a front-page story in the New York Times, a collection of articles in the Atlantic, and an essay by Robert Kagan in the Washington Post all warned of the specific plans that allies of the former president are hatching to enable Trump to concentrate power in the executive branch, illustrating how the nation can “drift toward dictatorship,” as Kagan wrote.
THE DEFAMATION TRIAL AGAINST RUDY GIULIANI wrapped up its second day in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, with Judge Beryl Howell presiding. Howell is a serious judge who is buying none of Giuliani’s shenanigans. When she stepped down as chief judge of that court in May, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson quipped, “She’s like that steel beam in a construction project that holds everything else up.” The same can be said about the court system itself these days: It’s bearing much of the weight of our federal constitutional system, as our legislature is dysfunctional and the presidency is at risk of recapture by someone whose disregard for the Constitution is total.
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Bulwark Podcast with Charlie Sykes: Where Have All the Democrats Gone?
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THE PARALLEL STRUGGLES of Special Counsel Jack Smith to hold Donald Trump accountable and House Republicans to find a reason to impeach Joe Biden are depressing and clarifying.
Our politics has reached the point where if you try to penalize bad or even criminal behavior, you’re inviting a tit-for-tat cycle of petty partisanship at best, and violent retribution at worst. The first renders discipline meaningless, and the second is terrifying.
On the surface, it may seem like fact-based, bipartisan accountability has made a comeback. The Republican-run House last week expelled Republican Rep. George Santos, criminally indicted on twenty-three counts and documented in a House ethics report as a fabulist and fraudmeister of the first order.1 And more than half of Senate Democrats called for the resignation of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) after his second indictment.
MONA CHAREN: Checks and Balances Won’t Save Us from Trump.
THE ALREADY-FORGOTTEN-BUT-NOT-YET-GONE Kevin McCarthy shared some thoughts on threats to our democracy with Bob Costa on Face the Nation. After affirming that yes, he is endorsing Trump for re-election, and yes, he would love to accept a post in his cabinet, he brushed aside concerns about Trump’s authoritarian or even fascist tendencies. “I don’t see that.” Pressed to justify Trump’s nonstop vows to exact “retribution” on his opponents, McCarthy offered that “What President Trump needs to do in this campaign—it needs to be about rebuilding, restoring, renewing America. It can’t be about revenge.” How nice, but that’s 180 degrees divergent from what Trump is doing.
Costa persisted: “He’s not backing away from his calls for retribution.” McCarthy was unperturbed. “Yeah, but remember, you have a check-and-balance system.”
Civil War. I am not sure what to make about this forthcoming movie, set to air next April, a month after Super Tuesday. I am still processing it. We already know who the nominees will be, but even if you don’t accept that reality, we’ll know by then who the nominees are. All I can say about the movie right now is “great cast.” But I am reminded of A.B. Stoddard’s recent item about her dad and the movie The Day After.
Did Bush v. Gore destroy us? Max Burns argues it did.
Paul Ryan more fully emerges from his cocoon… Here’s what he has to say about Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.
Surprise, it’s President Obama! Your feel good story of the day.
Monumental Alexandria… The sleepy Washington suburb is about to get two pro sports teams and $2 billion in investment. I loved living in ALX, but the traffic is gonna be something.
When you’re here… You’re family. A man took his Korean grandparents to Olive Garden for the first time and they. had. a. blast.
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