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McConnell will sink Trump ‘like a 3-foot putt’ if he decides it’s the only way to keep the Senate: Ex-prosecutor

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Even though Democrats took great pains to make the impeachment articles as narrowly focused and provable as possible, Republicans in the Senate are broadly expected to still march as one to acquit President Donald Trump when it goes to trial.

But former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner argued on Tuesday that people shouldn’t be so certain, for one big reason: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds all the cards, and it comes down to what he believes will help him keep his Senate majority.

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At present, there does not appear to be any indication that McConnell is facing pressure from his own party to hold Trump accountable, as Senate Republicans fear a primary challenge from Trump supporters. But there are at least some senators fighting for re-election in blue states, like Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Susan Collins (R-ME), who could face pressure in the other direction, and those seats are integral to Republicans holding their Senate majority.


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Mike Pompeo’s behavior is straight out of Nixon VP’s playbook: historians

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expletive-laden dust-up with NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly is on message for the Trump-led Republican Party. Complaining that Kelly’s question about Ukraine was “another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration,” Pompeo has rallied the Republican base by slamming a journalist doing her job.

Whether he knows it or not, Pompeo is drawing from a playbook written a half century ago and perfected by a politician once voted the worst vice president in American history. Secretary Mike Pompeo, meet Vice President Spiro Agnew.

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‘Our chances of ever exiting the nightmare are shrinking’: Paul Krugman explains how the GOP is getting worse

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It is a great detriment to civil discourse that the divide between left and right in the United States is often depicted as being purely cultural — as if one’s politics were solely mediated by aesthetics, such as whether one prefers shooting guns or drinking lattes. This fabulist understanding of politics is harmful inasmuch as it masks the real social effects of the policy agendas pushed by left versus right. Seeing politics as aesthetic transforms what should be a quantitative debate — with statistics and numbers about taxation and public policy, questions of who benefits more or less from policy changes — and devolves it into a rhetorical debate over values.

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Legal battles sparked by Trump’s behavior could affect how the US government works for generations — long after his impeachment trial is over

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After the last Senate staffer turns out the lights, major questions remain to be decided outside of the Capitol about the limits of presidential power, the willingness of courts to decide political questions and the ability of Congress to exercise effective oversight and hold a president accountable.

Here are three of those questions.

What are the limits of presidential power?

First, the aggressive exercise of executive power by Trump has put this power under court scrutiny.

Trump’s vow to “fight all the subpoenas” breaks from the traditional process – negotiation and accommodation – that previous presidents have used to resolve disputes between branches of the government.

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