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Who Will Betray Trump?
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Democrats in Battlegrounds Prefer Moderate Nominee
GOP Senators Hit By Early Wave of Outside Money
Secret Chats Show GOP Lawmaker Prepping

Public Hearings in Impeachment Inquiry Will Begin Next Week

Yesterday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced that public hearings relating to the impeachment inquiry will start next week. William Taylor and George Kent will testify on Wednesday. Marie (Masha) Yovanovitch will get her turn on Friday. All of them have testified in private already, and all were very critical of Donald Trump.

Taylor, for example, said point blank in private that the president of Ukraine was told that military aid that Congress had appropriated would not be forthcoming unless he investigated the Bidens. Kent told Schiff's committee that Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney pushed U.S. diplomats out of the way and told them that Rudy Giuliani was now running U.S. policy with respect to Ukraine. Yovanovitch described how she pushed back on Trump's Ukraine plans and was recalled as a result.

It is probably no accident that these three are going first. All are career diplomats with extensive service and credibility. Republicans will be able to question them at the hearings, but all three know their stuff and are not likely to break down during testimony.

It won't take long for the initial witnesses to establish that Trump basically tried to extort Ukraine into cooking up dirt on Joe Biden. But the effect on the general public from seeing and hearing the witnesses speak their piece in public could be quite different from the summaries of the private testimony released so far.

In another indication that the impeachment inquiry has entered a new phase, House Democrats on Wednesday told former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, "Thanks, but no thanks!" Kupperman is the fellow who asked a judge to decide whether or not it is necessary to obey a congressional subpoena. It would appear that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) & Co. feel that they pretty much have all the information they need, and they would rather not waste time pulling teeth to collect dubious testimony from Trump-friendly witnesses. The top priority now is to air the administration's dirty laundry in public, so the blue team can move forward with articles of impeachment.

How Trump's defenders will react to all of this is not known yet. If the first half dozen or so witnesses are convincing, Republican senators may bring up the defense that extorting a foreign leader is not so nice, but it doesn't rise to the level of impeachment. Schiff could conceivably go after that defense by calling up a series of highly respected historians, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and professors of constitutional law to discuss what the founding parents meant by "high crimes and misdemeanors." It shouldn't be hard to figure that out, since the term has been used in British law since 1386. It basically means abuse of power by a high-ranking official. If you want to learn more about it, check out the Wikipedia article entitled "High crimes and misdemeanors."

There's also another defense that some Republicans, notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), are taking out for a test spin right now. It goes like this:

What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward Ukraine: It was incoherent, it depends on who you talk to, they seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo, so no I find the whole process to be a sham and I'm not going to legitimize it.

In other words: This might be a crime in the hands of some other administration, but not in the hands of the Trump administration, because they are so incompetent they are incapable of pulling it off. Needless to say, that doesn't quite square with reality—plenty of folks involved here were 100% convinced that an act of extortion was underway. Schiff might also get a lawyer or two to take the stand and point out that incompetence is not actually a valid defense. It's still attempted murder, even if the perpetrator forgets to load the gun. (V)

Most Voters Think Trump Will Be Reelected

Yesterday we had an item about the polling on the presidential race and one on how the betting markets view it. Yet another angle to is ask people who they expect to win, rather than who they want to win. This is what a new Politico/Morning Consult poll does. The result is that 56% of the voters expect Donald Trump to be reelected. This includes 85% of Republicans, 51% of independents, and even 35% of Democrats.

Enthusiasm is running high, with 80% saying they are motivated to turn out and 69% saying they are very motivated. Among partisan Democrats and Republicans, 96% say they will vote. Conservatives and liberals are equally gung ho. Independents are not as fired up.

Politico also asked how certain words described people's feelings about the election. Here is the percentage of voters who agreed that a particular word described them very well or somewhat well: Interested (73%), hopeful (63%), frustrated (52%), confused (43%), angry (40%), happy (39%), helpless (29%), depressed (26%), and bored (18%).

Another line of questioning was asking which party would do a better job on various issues. Republicans won on the economy (+7%), jobs (+6%), and gun policy (+1%). Democrats won on the environment (+23%), sexual harassment (+19%), health care (+13%), protecting Social Security and Medicare (+13%), energy (+10%), and immigration (+1%).

Politico also queried respondents about how important each of several issues should be in Congress. People could choose multiple items, if desired. Fifty-two percent of voters think that health care should be a top priority, followed by immigration reform (40%), climate change (36%), gun control (36%), infrastructure (34%), protecting the dreamers (29%), inequality (28%), building Trump's wall (24%), and regulating tech companies (15%).

Finally, the most important question of all: "If your senator was [sic] to vote in favor of removing President Trump from office, would you be more or less likely to vote for them in the next election? Results: Much more (29%), somewhat more (10%), no change (15%), somewhat less (4%), and much less (32%). You can bet your bottom dollar that this question and result is going to be the topic of the day in the Senate cloakroom today.

It was a long poll, but they got 1983 people to answer the questions. The results occupy 26 pages. (V)

Russian Media Have Possibly Outed the Whistleblower

As the facts about Ukrainegate keep coming in, Donald Trump's position gets increasingly tenuous. Too many people close to the fire have already said there was a quid pro quo—and that isn't even required for an impeachment. Merely asking for election help from a foreign national is a federal felony, even if the foreign national gets nothing in return.

One approach that Trump appears to be gearing up for is to personally attack the whistleblower to undermine his or her credibility, even though the key elements of the complaint have already been corroborated by multiple witnesses. Nevertheless, when all you can do is grasp at straws, you grasp at straws. Consequently, Trump desperately wants to know who the whistleblower is, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) appears willing to help him. Paul wrote an op-ed for The Hill explaining why he believes the whistleblower should step forward and face the music. In addition, he has blocked a Senate resolution protecting whistleblowers. Unlike some senators who are cowering under their desks, at least everyone knows where Paul stands on impeaching Donald Trump.

Paul claims to know who it is and has sent out a tweet with the name, photo, and details of the WB. Russian media, including TASS, RT, Rossiya-1, and others have grabbed the ball and run with it, so it is all over Russia now. So far, U.S. media have refused to speculate who it is, despite Paul demanding that they do so. Well, most U.S. media, though that renowned bastion of quality journalism—Breitbart—has run an item on the WB's identity. Also, the always-desperate-for-daddy's-approval Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the alleged identity out, as well.

The Russian media are all tightly controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin, so it is abundantly clear whose team Putin is on. (Hint: Same one as in 2016.) Whether intentionally or not, Trump has delivered for Putin by pulling out of Syria, fracturing NATO, failing to punish him for interfering in the 2016 election, and avoiding ramping up election security for 2020. Even better is destroying the previous bipartisan support for Ukraine. Putin would like nothing better than to annex all of Ukraine, and in the current partisan fighting over it, if the Russian army were to invade it, Democrats would scream, Republicans would express their "concern," and Trump would do nothing. Putin would smile. (V)

Even Barr Has His Limits, Apparently

There are some areas where Donald Trump's political skills are sorely wanting. However, he is an absolute savant when it comes to PR, and he understands well that impeachment is going to be about who wins the battle of public opinion. To that end, he asked AG William Barr to hold a press conference about a week ago, and to declare that Trump had been cleared of all wrongdoing as regards the Ukraine-coat Affair.

Although that sort of press conference is exactly what Barr staged after the Mueller Report was released, this time he refused. Nobody is quite clear why, since he's toted Trump's water every other time he's been asked. This may presage the beginning of a shift in priorities at Justice, wherein Barr decides that his focus needs to be on protecting his own rear end, and not Trump's. And it may also presage the decline of the President's and the AG's relationship; though they are reportedly still on good terms right now, that probably can't last if Barr says "no" too many more times. (Z)

Will The Next Impeachment Be Like the Previous Ones?

Unless a large meteor hits D.C. and wipes it off the face of the earth, the House is going to impeach Donald Trump. Maybe it will be along party lines, maybe it will be bipartisan, but it is going to happen. So, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report has ventured a guess on how it might play out based on the two previous impeachments and one near miss.

In Nov. 1972, Richard Nixon carried 49 states. He also had a 68% approval rating at the time of his second inauguration, in January 1973. A bit over a year later, in March 1974, 38% of Americans wanted him removed from office. In July 1974, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment in an attempt to remove him from office. Nixon resigned before the full House could vote on the articles. What happened? There were public hearings and 71% of the country watched them live. They spelled doom for Nixon. Currently, around half the country wants Donald Trump to go home (Florida) or maybe to prison. And this is before anybody goes on national television and says "Trump extorted a foreign leader in an attempt to get him to damage a political rival." To the extent that the Nixon saga is a guide, Trump is in for some stormy times (and they won't involve Ms. Daniels).

On Dec. 19, 1998, the House impeached Bill Clinton, despite Clinton's job approval rating being above 56% for months before the impeachment and support for impeachment never being above 33%. During the months between the start of the inquiry and its end, there was an almost perfect correlation between Clinton's approval rating and the percentage of people who opposed his impeachment. However, then, the public hearings didn't move the needle much, possibly because Clinton was accused of lying under oath about a private affair, not for trying to rig an election, as Nixon was (and as Trump is).

Walter thinks the hearings this time around will be more like Clinton's than Nixon's, but for a special reason. Everyone gets his or her news nowadays from sources that range from mildly partisan to ferociously partisan, so if you like Trump, you can watch Fox News and hear that he is innocent, but if you don't like him, you can watch MSNBC and hear that he is guilty. That wasn't the case at all in 1974 or 1998. Still, there is a lesson here from 1974: Public opinion can move quickly and what seems improbable at one point in time can seem inevitable 3 months later.

The original impeachment occurred on March 2-3, 1868, when then-President Andrew Johnson was formally accused of violating the Tenure of Office Act, which stated that the president could fire a Senate-confirmed appointee only with permission of the Senate. Johnson removed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and didn't think it necessary to ask the Senate's opinion. The real reason for the impeachment, though, was disputes over how to carry out Reconstruction. The Republican-controlled Congress wanted to stick it to the South but North Carolina native Johnson wanted to be more lenient. He had a problem, though, because Stanton had the responsibility for actually carrying out Reconstruction and he agreed with Congress, so Johnson decided to get rid of him. Congress didn't like that, so the House impeached him and the Senate missed convicting him by a single vote. The situation is clearly different from the current one in many ways, but common to both Johnson's and Trump's problems is a dispute over the separation of powers: What can the president do and what can Congress do? (V)

Supreme Court I: A Momentous Decision Ahead

This separation-of-powers thingie still haunts us, over 150 years after Andrew Johnson's impeachment. Only the next one up is a federal vs. state issue, not Executive Branch vs. Legislative Branch (but see below). Within a few days, Donald Trump's lawyers will appeal Monday's decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Second Circuit ruled that Trump's accountants must give his tax returns to Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance. Vance claims that this is a routine tax fraud case and he needs the returns to see if Trump has cheated on his New York State taxes. In particular, he wants to know if Trump deducted his hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen MacDougal as business expenses. Trump claims that, as president, he is immune to state investigations.

The Supreme Court has a momentous decision to make here and none of the choices will be universally cheered. There is some jurisprudence it can fall back on, though. Probably the most relevant case is the Court's 1997 decision to require Bill Clinton to testify in a civil suit brought by Paula Jones. The precedent here is that in a case that involves the president, but does not involve the office of the presidency or any official actions by the president, the president is not special and the usual rules apply. Also relevant is the Court's 1974 decision ordering Richard Nixon to turn over his Oval Office tapes to a special prosecutor. If the president's most closely held conversations can be subpoenaed, surely his old tax returns can be.

The Court has a few options here:

  • Punt. The easiest way out is to decline taking the case without even explaining why. Next easiest is to decline taking it, with an explanation that it is just a run-of-the-mill tax case in which a DA wants to see if a suspect cheated on his state taxes and presidents aren't above the law.

  • Feds beat states 1-0. One way out of this mess for the Court is to rule that this is about the federal government vs. a subordinate government. Such a decision could say that state and local officials can't cross the president because he is, well, the president, and thus the boss. Seems unlikely to us.

  • Uphold the Second Circuit on narrow grounds. The Court could take note of the fact that the president is neither the plaintiff nor the defendant. It is the DA vs. an accounting firm. Consequently, while the president may generally have special privileges, they don't apply here because technically, he is not a party to the litigation in front of the Court. If the Court goes down this road, it would logically rule that a DA can have someone's tax returns when the DA suspects that person may have cheated on his state taxes.

  • The president is like a king. Conceivably, but not likely given the Nixon and Clinton rulings, the Court could rule that, as Trump claims, the president is immune to any legal action from anyone because it would interfere with his constitutional duties.

If we had to bet, we'd go for option 1 or 3, but anything is possible. (V)

Supreme Court II: Chief Umpire Roberts May Soon Get a Project He Doesn't Want

A little bit further down the road, one of the Supreme Court justices is probably going to get a job he most definitely does not want: presiding at Donald Trump's impeachment trial. Roberts has tangled with Trump before, most notably when Trump called a judge "an Obama judge." In a rare rebuke, Roberts said that there are no Obama judges or Trump judges or Bush judges or Clinton judges. Trump came back with: "Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have 'Obama judges.'" Roberts let that be.

Roberts cares about the reputation of the Supreme Court and his own reputation as a baseball umpire in peculiar clothing. Given that there have been only two impeachment trials, and one of them was 150 years ago, there is not a lot for Roberts to go on. One difference between an impeachment trial and a regular trial is the role of the judge. Normally, when a judge makes a ruling, that's it, although an appeal can later be made citing an "improper" ruling the judge made. That doesn't hold for impeachment trials. Under Senate rules, any senator can contest any ruling Roberts makes and then the full Senate gets to vote on it. In civil and criminal trials, the jury cannot overrule the judge.

Interestingly enough, the Chief Justice who presided over the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton was William Rehnquist, for whom Roberts clerked as a young lawyer. Rehnquist tried to leave as small a footprint on the case as he could, leaving most decisions to the senators. Roberts might just try to emulate his old boss and keep as low a profile as possible while half of Congress is trying to remove the president.

On the other hand, many Democrats don't like some of the votes Roberts has taken on the Supreme Court (e.g., Citizens United, gerrymandering) and see him as a partisan Republican. A trial could give Roberts the chance to go back into humble umpire mode by not letting Trump off too easy—for example, by allowing the House managers to introduce any evidence they want, even over the objections of some Republican senators.

Roberts knows very well that how he behaves and rules during an impeachment trial could easily become his main legacy, so he has to be very careful. But when the chips are down and the parties are far apart, he is going to have to call balls and strikes. "Mostly ballish" won't cut it. (V)

Most Republicans Aren't Showing Up for the Impeachment Hearings

Late last month, a bevy of Republicans stormed the SCIF (pronounced "skiff"), the secure room under the Capitol where the depositions are being taken in the impeachment inquiry. They were protesting the absence of Republicans in the room when the witnesses were being deposed. They delayed the proceedings for hours and even ordered pizza for a nice lunch there.

They do have a point, though: there weren't many Republicans present during the hearings. But it is not because they aren't allowed to be there. Dozens of Republicans are on the Intelligence, Oversight, and other committees investigating the president and are allowed in the room and allowed to ask any questions they want. However, Roll Call is reporting that very few Republicans have actually used their right to be there and question the witnesses. They simply aren't bothering to show up and take part. For example, when EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified, Democrats present outnumbered Republicans 2 to 1, even though almost as many Republicans as Democrats are authorized to be present. As it turns out, secret sessions do not provide much opportunity for grandstanding, which is what many members like best about congressional hearings.

When we soon move to public hearings, the situation is sure to change. There the whole point is influencing public opinion, not collecting information. In fact, the grandstanding has already started. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has said she wants to call Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) as the first witness, to find out whether he is coordinating with the whistleblower. Good luck with that, since the House resolution governing the rules of the inquiry gives the power to determine who the witnesses will be to...Adam Schiff. (V)

White Working-Class Women Are Moving Away from Trump

McClatchy is running a series of studies of key demographic groups that will probably determine who wins the White House in 2020. The first one is about white working-class women, who make up about 20% of the electorate. They went solidly for Trump in 2016, but many are now having misgivings about doing that again in 2020 (in contrast to white working-class men, whose support of Trump is unwavering).

A study of polls, focus groups, and interviews with voters and over a dozen party strategists, shows that Trump has little chance of winning white working-class women by 27 points again, as he did in 2016. One hint came in 2018, when they went from R+27 to R+14, a drop of 13 points. Forty percent of them now favor impeaching him, up from only 11% in September.

Many voters told the McClatchy reporter that they didn't especially like Trump in 2016, but they hated Hillary Clinton. She won't be on the ballot in 2020. Also important is that Democrats are showing up in rural areas like Howard County, IA, which went for Obama by 21 points in 2012 and for Trump by 20 points in 2016. One resident, April Cheeseman, was repelled by both Trump and Clinton in 2016, but now says she will probably support whomever the Democrats nominate. Many other people had the same story to tell.

The Democrats don't have to win white working-class women outright to capture Iowa's 6 electoral votes, but if they can knock 10 or 15 points off Trump's margin with them, that might be enough. The same holds for most of the neighboring states. If the Democrats show up, listen to people, and take what they hear to heart, they have a good chance of making big gains with this key demographic group. (V)

Flying to the White House

Some pundits describe American politics as urban vs. rural, but the number of truly rural voters is only 14%, so that isn't such a good divide. David Wasserman has a different and unusual way of looking it at, through aviation. He divides the country into four boarding zones:

  • Global metros (41%): These have two or more regularly scheduled intercontinental flights. Cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, and New York qualify.

  • International metros (14%): These don't meet the above requirement but have at least one regularly scheduled international flight. Cities like Indianapolis, New Orleans, Nashville, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, and San Antonio qualify.

  • Regional metros (31%): These are served by at least one of the four biggest carriers (American, Delta, Southwest, and United), but have no international flights. Cities like Des Moines, Flint, Toledo, Buffalo, Pueblo, Erie, Little Rock, and Spokane qualify.

  • Non-metro areas (14%): Everything else. Counties that have some flights due to a ski resort but are otherwise rural fall in this group.

Here is Wasserman's map, by county:


Looking at it this way, Donald Trump is absolutely toxic in all the global metros and these have more people (41%) than any of the others. In the international metros, Democrats are holding their own. Hillary Clinton won 52% of the vote here, the same as Barack Obama in 2012 and Bill Clinton in 1992.

But there is also bad news for the Democrats. They are backsliding in the regional metros, where there aren't any international flights and where foreigners are viewed with suspicion. Trump's immigration and protectionism policies play well here. Trump won 55% of the vote here, up from Mitt Romney's 53% in 2012 and John McCain's 51% in 2008. In the non-metro counties, Trump clobbered Clinton, taking 67% of the vote, up from Romney's 60%.

An even bigger problem for the Democrats is that while they are doing fine in global metros, nearly all of those are in states that are not competitive, like California, Texas, and New York. In California, 76% of the people live in global metros. In Texas it is 50%. In New York it is 61%. Maybe Atlanta will make Georgia competitive in 2020, but in the past it was pretty red. In contrast, global metros represent only 34% of the people in Pennsylvania and just 5% in Wisconsin.

The regional and non-metro areas are 45% of the electorate, but are overrepresented in the battleground states. So while the Democratic candidates are holding giant rallies in New York, Seattle, and San Francisco, the big question is: how will they do in Erie, Saginaw, and Green Bay? (V)

Sessions Is In

Wednesday was the deadline for would-be Alabama senators to file the paperwork necessary to mount a campaign. After hemming and hawing, and thinking it over for a good long time, former senator and Trump AG Jeff Sessions has decided he would like his old job back. So, he threw his, hat into the very crowded GOP ring on Wednesday.

The big question, now, is WWTD (What will Trump do?). He loathes Sessions, calling the AG appointment his "biggest mistake." In fact, the President specifically warned Sessions against running. Undoubtedly, the Donald is petty enough to try and derail Sessions' bid, but doing so risks handing the Republican nomination to child molester Roy Moore. That, in turn, would put Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) in pretty good shape to get re-elected to a full six-year term. Alternatively, Trump could wait until Sessions knocked out Moore, and then attack, but that also increases the risk that Jones wins. A third possibility is that the President could stay out of it, and leave the folks in the Yellowhammer State to make their own decisions about whom they want to represent them in Washington, but that's not exactly the President's style, now is it? (Z)

Pressley Endorses Warren

There is dissension in Squadland. Three of the four liberal minority first-term congresswomen who call themselves "the squad" have endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president. These are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). However, the fourth one, Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) yesterday. Pressley said: "I have seen Ms. Warren in small church basements and in packed gymnasiums. And she is consistent. She never loses sight of the people."

It is perhaps a bit surprising that the other three, all of whom are strong feminists, endorsed an old white man. Warren's program is probably as far to the left as Sanders' and she is a woman, after all. There is some speculation already of another one of those dreaded QPQs: Pressley supports Warren now, and if Warren is elected president, Warren supports Pressley to run for her Senate seat. (V)

Bevin Makes it Official

Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY) refuses to concede that he was defeated in Tuesday's elections. It was highly likely that he would choose from one of three ways available to contest the results, and now he's decided: he will demand (and pay for) a re-canvass of Kentucky. That means Kentucky's 120 counties will all check their voting machines and absentee ballots to make certain they were counted correctly; the process will be completed by Nov. 14.

Bevin says that he and his team have already discovered many "irregularities" in the process, though he declined to offer specifics on what that means. He's also going to have quite a time explaining why every other Republican on the ballot did not seem to suffer due to those irregularities. For his part, Gov.-elect Andy Beshear (D) has already formed a transition team, and is preparing to be inaugurated on Dec. 10. (Z)

What Really Matters in the Long Term

People watching politics often see the trees but miss the forest. What some politician said today is probably not going to be the main story in 10 years. But there are major issues now visible that are not going away any time soon. Axios has put together a short list of some of the big ones:

  • Social media: Mind manipulation, whether by the Russians or domestic sources, is a huge issue due to the enormous attention that Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms get. Fake news and out-and-out lies are more-and-more determining what people think. No easy fix is in sight, although ending anonymous postings might be a start.

  • Technological disruption: Technology, especially robotics and artificial intelligence, are going to change the world and have massive implications for work and people's lives. Self-driving cars and trucks are virtually certain to be very common within 20 years, maybe much sooner. What happens to the 3 million people whose job is driving a vehicle when the vehicle can drive itself? Donald Trump may well get companies to move production out of China and back to the U.S. What happens when workers discover that each new factory employs 100 people with a masters degree in mechanical engineering, 100 people with a masters in computer science, and 1,000 robots? Politicians aren't even talking about it, but they are going to have to.

  • China: Even if some factories leave China, that nation is going to reorder the world. Its technological, military, and political systems are very different from America's and will present massive challenges going ahead. Slapping a 10% tariff on T-shirts and plastic toys isn't going to solve the problem.

  • Climate change: Like it or not, the climate is changing. That will lead to more extreme weather, like hurricanes, not to mention vast forest fires. Countries whose land becomes incapable of growing enough food for their population may decide to take over other counties' newly fertile land. Wars over arable land, water, and other resources may become the new normal.

  • Health care: The population in most Western countries is aging and this will push health-care costs up to a point where very real tradeoffs may have to be made. Some means will be needed to drive costs down without affecting care. It will be very messy, pitting one group against another. Is increasing the size of kindergarten classes so that more 80-year olds can get kidney dialysis a good idea? At some point, politicians are going to have to deal with this.

  • Demographics: America is becoming a very diverse nation and groups that have suffered in silence for decades are not doing so any more. This change is partly due to immigration, but also to disparate birth rates among different demographic groups. Few issues animate some Americans more than having a robotic voice on their telephone tell them: "Press one for English, presione dos para Español."

  • Inequality: Growing inequality can go on only so long before the peasants grab their pitchforks and decide that capitalism is a bad idea. A recent poll of 23-38 year olds shows that 36% approve of Communism and 22% want to abolish private property. What happens if that cohort breaks with tradition and starts voting in large numbers? Nick Hanauer's letter to his fellow zillionaires is even more relevant now than when he wrote it in 2014.

All this makes quid pro quo look like small potatoes. (V)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov06 Bye, Bye Bevin
Nov06 Sondland's Memory Improves
Nov06 Tuesday's Impeachment Maneuvering
Nov06 The State of the Presidential Race, Part I: The New York Times and the Washington Post
Nov06 The State of the Presidential Race, Part II: A Broader View
Nov06 The State of the Presidential Race, Part III: The Betting Markets
Nov06 Democratic Leadership Cool on Kennedy
Nov05 Not a Great Day for Trump, Part I: Impeachment
Nov05 Not a Great Day for Trump, Part II: The Courts
Nov05 Voters Head to the Polls Today
Nov05 U.S. Begins Paris Accord Withdrawal Process
Nov05 About that Move to Florida...
Nov05 The Castro Death Spiral Has Begun, Too
Nov04 Trump Hates Ukraine
Nov04 Trump Also Hates California
Nov04 Whistleblower Willing to Answer Questions in Writing
Nov04 Warren Unveils Medicare for All Funding Plan
Nov04 All in All, It's Just a Hole in the Wall
Nov04 Sports and Trump Just Don't Mix
Nov04 Today's Polls, Part I: The State of the Democratic Race
Nov04 Today's Polls, Part II: Impeachment
Nov03 Sunday Mailbag
Nov02 Beto Says "No Más"
Nov02 Saturday Q&A
Nov01 House Formalizes Impeachment Inquiry
Nov01 About That Offer to the Republican Senators...
Nov01 Trump Unveils 2020 Strategy
Nov01 The Nine Lives of Obamacare
Nov01 Funding Medicare for All May Just Be Viable
Nov01 Democratic Deluge in Virginia
Nov01 Trump Is Now a Floridian
Oct31 Democrats Get Serious About Impeachment Inquiry
Oct31 Senators Start to Squirm
Oct31 Trump Begins Planning His Defense
Oct31 More on Alexander Vindman
Oct31 Mr. Bolton, Please Report for Your Deposition
Oct31 What's a Trump Staffer to Do?
Oct31 Twitter to Reject All Political Ads
Oct31 Harris Campaign Begins Death Spiral
Oct30 Vindman Speaks, Trump & Co. Counterattack
Oct30 Two Amigos May Have Some Explaining to Do
Oct30 Early State Polls Suggest Rocky Start for Joe Biden
Oct30 Democratic Candidates Don't Care About California
Oct30 What Do Evangelicals Believe These Days?
Oct30 Bet You Didn't Know that Lindsey Graham Is a Big Supporter of the Green New Deal
Oct30 Good News for House GOP?
Oct29 House Democrats to "Formalize" Impeachment Proceedings
Oct29 This Week's Witness List
Oct29 A Tale of Two Photographs
Oct29 Mike Pompeo May Be Interested in A New Job