The Monday Morning Teaser

It hasn’t been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon. The impeachment inquiry rolled on, hearing from a series of foreign-service officers about the subordination of America’s policy in Ukraine to Trump’s re-election. The testimony was behind closed doors, but several of the witnesses released their opening statements.

Meanwhile, the White House Chief of Staff virtually confessed, telling the press that military aid to Ukraine was held up so that it could be exchanged for Ukrainian commitment to investigate Democrats. It took a few hours for Mike Mulvaney to realize he’d given the game away, but then he came out and told the press they hadn’t heard him say what he said.

Trump sent Pence to Ankara to negotiate a “ceasefire” that looks a lot like a surrender. Elijah Cummings died. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally negotiated an agreement to leave the EU, but the drama goes on as the October 31 deadline approaches. Nancy Pelosi stood up to Trump in a photo for the ages. The State Department finally cleared Hillary in the notorious email scandal. And a bunch of other stuff happened.

Anyway, there are two featured posts this week, both of which should be out within an hour or so. The first is my projection of where the impeachment debate seems headed: The evidence against Trump is increasingly clear, and the arguments he’s making in court to obstruct the investigation are increasingly bizarre. So it looks to me like it’s going to come down to a pure loyalty argument: Republican judges and senators should ignore the facts and the law and support Trump as a pure power play. I describe that in “The Leader or the Law?”

The second featured post takes a step back from the Syria question to consider something harder: Is there room to be against Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds without embracing “endless war” and American interventions around the world? I try to square my disgust at what’s going on in Syria with my own history of opposing foreign military adventures in “A Liberal View of Intervention”.

The weekly summary covers everything else, before ending with a cute puppy picture. Because we need that sometimes.

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  • Frank Ackerman  On October 23, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    As citizens we need to keep minimally informed of Congress’ inquiry into Trump’s plot to coerce Ukraine into helping him win in 2020, and even to take minor note of Trump’s outlandish defense. But is there any real doubt as to how this will end? The House will surely indict (impeach). The case is clear and the House has the votes. Will the Senate then convict (remove from office)? Given its past and current behavior what chance is there that enough Republican Senators will vote to hand the next presidential election to the Democrats? Something like a snowball’s chance in hell?

    So our major focus should be elsewhere: (1) doing what we can to keep Trump from solidifying his dictatorship-in-the-making in the 2020 election, (2) trying to understand the myriad subterranean forces that erupted in Trump’s election, and (3) doing what we can to ameliorate these forces.

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