Hungry, Hungry Hipppos

David Roth, Making sense of Donald Trump’s petulant reign:

The spectacle of expert analysts and thought leaders parsing the actions of a man with no expertise or capacity for analysis is the purest acid satire—but less because of how badly that expert analysis has failed than because of how sincerely misplaced it is. Trump represents an extraordinary challenge to political media precisely because there is nothing here to parse, no hidden meanings or tactical elisions or slow-rolled strategic campaign. Mainstream political media and Trump’s opponents in the Democratic Party conceive of politics as chess, a matter of feints and sacrifices and moves made so as to open the way for other moves. There’s an element of romance to this vision, which is a crucial tenet in a certain type of big-D Democratic thought and also something like the reason why anyone would need to employ a political analyst. But Trump is not playing chess. The man is playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Canada, If You’re Listening


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The Legal Significance of a Formal Impeachment Inquiry

I begin with a short message for anyone who couldn’t slog their way through my long talk on the constitutional law of congressional investigations. First of all, I feel your pain. Second, here’s the bottom line, that comes in last few paragraphs of my talk: after some days of legal research, I now see a tangible legal benefit to initiating an formal impeachment investigation. There may or may not be a countervailing political argument against that course of action. Both things could be true at the same time: impeachment might hurt the Democrats politically, but help them legally. Be that as it may, I think the potential legal benefit of formal impeachment proceedings is big enough to take into consideration.

Accepting Political Help from Furriners

This morning, everybody is talking about the Stephanopoulos interview. For the record, I join with everyone else in feeling shocked, stunned, and deeply saddened by Trump’s remarks. But, on a more practical note, Trump has business interests in at least 25 foreign countries, as shown on the map above. any of them would rather not see him reelected.

Foreign countries, if you’re listening, now’s the time to look at Trump’s businesses, and dish the dirt on The Donald.

That Trump Brief to the Second Circuit: Kellyanne’s Husband Speaks

Kellyanne and George

Readers interested in the matters addressed in my two immediately prior posts—relating to Congress’s right to investigate Trump—will probably want to read the take of George Conway and Neal Katyal. Their tone is a bit more rhetorical than mine, but their views complement my own. They agree with me that the courts should rule that Congress can investigate Trump’s wrongdoing, whether or not it’s considering impeachment. That said, they also say that, in the brief to the Second Circuit, the Trump legal team is effectively urging the Democrats to start impeachment proceeding.

I don’t know whether Messrs. Conway and Katyal share my view that goading the Democrats into impeachment would be a truly boneheaded move on Trump’s part.

I suspect they do.