Opinion | President Trump, Under Siege
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“We’ve seen indications that Mueller is getting near the top right here,” says Susan Hennessey, of the Lawfare weblog, about Robert Mueller’s investigation. “That’s both excellent news for the president as a result of, that is all about to wrap up, or it’s actually unhealthy information for the president as a result of it’s all about to return crashing down.”
What are these indications? They embrace the most recent flurry of authorized proceedings involving folks central to the investigation, like Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. Hennessey predicts that the investigation will probably wrap up by early spring.
If that’s proper, a lot of the information within the subsequent few months can be dominated by Russia. And I feel that’s one cause why congressional Republicans appear extra prepared to defy Trump — as they’ve in latest days on Yemen, a number of judicial nominations and Jamal Khashoggi’s homicide. “The Trump White Home may be very a lot beneath siege,” Mikhaila Fogel and Benjamin Wittes write in an Atlantic piece that walks by way of the White Home’s issues.
For extra on the Russia investigation, hearken to the brand new episode of “The Argument” podcast. It consists of the interview with Hennessey that’s quoted above, in addition to a debate amongst Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and me over whether or not Trump’s conduct means he deserves to be faraway from workplace. Ross says no. Michelle and I say, “Dayenu!”
Wisconsin. Republican legislators in Wisconsin yesterday accepted a unadorned partisan energy seize, eradicating authority from the governor’s workplace for the straightforward cause that the brand new governor can be a Democrat.
It’s ugly stuff, and I feel it’s essential that different Republicans attempt to halt the invoice. (The governor, Scott Walker, has but to signal it, and the invoice is more likely to be challenged in courtroom.) One distinguished Republican businessman in Wisconsin, Sheldon Lubar, spoke out in opposition to it, as Meg Jones of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“We depend on norms of mutual toleration and forbearance to make sure the peaceable switch of energy. Violating that compact undermines democracy,” the political scientist Brendan Nyhan wrote yesterday. “Students of democratic erosion know the way harmful this example will be.”
To paraphrase Seth Masket, one other political scientist: The place are the Republicans who like democracy greater than they hate Democrats?
Elsewhere, Jamil Smith of Rolling Stone calls the Wisconsin transfer “a declaration that solely Republicans are allowed to run issues, even when the voters say in any other case, and that any challenges to their energy are invalid.” HuffPost’s Igor Bobic factors out that prime Republicans — together with Wisconsin’s personal Paul Ryan — have largely been silent.
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David Leonhardt is a former Washington bureau chief for the Occasions, and was the founding editor of The Upshot and head of The 2020 Mission, on the way forward for the Occasions newsroom. He received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, for columns on the monetary disaster. @DLeonhardt • Fb