Beginning in 2011, and continuing through the next year, Donald Trump began obsessively predicting that President Obama would start a war with Iran in order to be reelected. Trump stated it publicly, on at least a half-dozen occasions, explicitly positing that attacking Iran would help Obama win reelection.
Ostensibly, for the past ten years, our economy has been recovering from the 2008 collapse. During the past few years, our comeback seems to have gained momentum. All the official indicators say we're back in boom times, with a bull market, low unemployment and steady job growth. But there is an alternative set of data that depicts a different America, where the overlooked majority struggles from month to month.
Advocates of a president's removal from office by Congress should have to climb over four walls to reach their objective. First, they should have to show that the facts they allege are true. Second, they should show that the fact pattern amounts to an abuse of power or dereliction of duty by the president. Third, they should show that this abuse or dereliction is impeachable. And fourth, they should show that it is prudent for Congress to remove the president for this impeachable offense: that it would produce more good than evil. read more
It was not a debate. It was a discussion. Its conclusion was a foregone conclusion. But the comprehensive view that we got of the scalded wasteland that is the modern conservative and Republican political mind was breathtaking. We speak often in the shebeen of the prion disease, but Wednesday's proceedings was the most vivid diagnostic look at it that we ever had. Not a single one of them fashioned the completely arguable case that, yes, the president* did what we all know he did, but it was a foreign-policy blunder and not an impeachable offense under the Constitution. I wouldn't agree, but at least the argument would track. Instead, we got howling and yowling, yet another performance from tobacco-auctioneer Doug Collins, an afternoon full of the impassioned defense of a lecherous grifthound who pays off porn stars and who almost nobody in the Republican Party wanted to be the nominee in 2016.
Jennifer Rubin: On the eve of his impeachment, a stain that obviously torments him more than his enablers have let on, President Trump issued a rambling, unhinged and lie-filled letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). It is difficult to capture how bizarre and frightening the letter is simply by counting the utter falsehoods (e.g., repeating the debunked accusation that Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin was fired for investigating Burisma; claiming Congress is obstructing justice; arguing he was afforded no rights in the process), or by quoting from the invective dripping from his pen. What is most striking is the spectacle of the letter itself -- a president so unhinged as to issue such an harangue; a White House entirely unable to stop him; a party so subservient to him that it would not trigger a search for a new nominee; a right-wing media bubble that will herald Trump for being Trump and excoriate Democrats for driving the president to this point; and a mainstream media not quite able to address a public temper-tantrum (resorting instead to euphemisms such as "scorching," "searing," etc.). read more