Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Will Impeachment Help Trump? And Other Dumb Questions

Let me preface this by saying that politics is unpredictable. I don’t know what will happen in next year’s election and I don’t know for a certainty what the political impact of President Trump’s impeachment will be. What I do know is this: for the last twenty years there has been a deep elite press consensus that impeachment carries a big risk of boomeranging on the party that impeaches a President and can actually bolster support for that President. This is flatly wrong. So I want to explain why it is wrong.

The evidence is pretty clear.

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World Coming Undone

My view of yesterday’s UK election is that if your party literally takes no position on the great issue of the day (Brexit, in this case) and has a party leader considered toxic by a significant swath of the electorate, you’re probably going to have a pretty bad election outcome. The fact that Labour was also running significantly to the left of the country as a whole and you have a good recipe for a near catastrophic election result, which is basically what happened.

But what interests me more is that the result makes it highly questionable whether there will even be a United Kingdom in the next five or ten years, at least one with its current borders and constituent nations.

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The Right and Wrong Lessons from Corbyn and Labour's Defeat

Here are some observations from an outsider about Labour’s crushing defeat in Britain’s election. There are some lessons here for the American left and liberals in the upcoming American elections.

The Brexit Factor: Labour lost — leave aside the margin for a moment — because leftwing parties cannot deal with secession crises. Leftwing parties base their appeal on class conflict (however ill defined); secession crises create conflicting cleavages around national identity. Those cleavages split Labour’s constituencies and pretty much insured the party’s defeat.

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The Great Gaslighting, Or Inside the Great 'Predication' Debate

Over the last three days we’ve witnessed a furious debate over just how and why the Russia probe (“Crossfire Hurricane”) began and whether political “bias” played a role in that decision. You will note that even in his statements and report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz stated that while he found no evidence of political or anti-Trump bias he could not rule out that it had played a role. Meanwhile Bill Barr suggested that Horowitz simply didn’t have the tools or perhaps sufficient aggressiveness to unearth it. Like the force of gravity that remains unseen but clearly forces all matter to fall downward, not finding any visible evidence doesn’t mean it’s not there. But the whole conversation assumes that there is a problem or deficiency that must be explained when in fact that whole premise is simply absurd.

What was eventually proven about the Trump campaign’s actions may remain a matter of controversy. But the idea that there wasn’t enough evidence or “predicate” to start the probe is simply bizarre and only makes any sense in a climate of long-term distortion, gaslighting and organized lying. It is important to shake those off and see the matter in a clear light.

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A Million Here, a Million There

Today federal prosecutors asked a judge to revoke the bail of Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. A main reason was that he had not disclosed to prosecutors that in September he received a million dollars from a bank account in Russia. This is certainly enough to make your ears prick up. But it’s a mystery at this point just what this money represents.

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