Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Whether Trump is impeached or not, the public understands the problem

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Eric Levitz/New York magazine:

If Impeaching Trump Is Pointless, Then Bipartisanship Is Worthless

House Democrats appear to believe that, in the present context, upholding their constitutional duty — by voting to remove a lawless president from office — would be politically unwise. Their reasoning goes something like this: Recent polls suggest a majority of the public wants Congress to “move on” from the Trump-Russia saga and opposes impeachment. Meanwhile, the impeachment process would eat up precious space in the legislative calendar, which could otherwise be used to hold public hearings on more politically resonant aspects of executive-branch malfeasance, and pass popular legislative proposals. And, most important, there is every reason to believe that a push for impeachment will end with the Senate acquitting the president. Which is to say: To the extent that the impeachment process would register at all with low-information swing voters, it would likely register as an unresolved partisan squabble. Trump’s malfeasance is surely a political asset for Democrats. But the president’s lawlessness isn’t subtle. Anyone who is willing and able to see that Trump is a crook already has. Better then to focus the party’s messaging on bread-and-butter issues that might speak to voters who are indifferent to Trump’s corruption.

I’m not sure that I accept this argument. But it strikes me as plausible…

All of this said, if House Democrats are taking the position that the Republican Party is so corrupt — and our system of checks and balances so obsolete — it isn’t even worth trying to uphold their constitutional responsibility to impeach a lawless president, then they need to acknowledge the radical implications of that stance.

Sahil Kapur/Bloomberg:

Biden’s Early Dominance Tests the Strength of Democratic Left

The left’s strategy to weaken Biden is to highlight his record as an establishment-friendly Democrat who cast votes that are out of step with the party’s base today. Sanders has already begun to do that by ripping into Biden’s past support for Nafta and deregulating Wall Street. At a rally in Washington on Monday night that marked Sanders’ second appearance in less than a week with Ocasio-Cortez, she and other activists complained Biden was too timid on climate change.

“So often when folks, particularly conservatives on both sides of the aisle, say that calling for a green new deal is too much or too extreme or too radical” and that the “middle ground is right,” she said. “What do they mean by that?”

In Concord, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, the former vice president responded to the criticism, saying, “I’ve never been middle of the road on the environment.” He told reporters he planned to release a bold plan on climate change by the end of May.

TPM:

Top GOPers Won’t Stick Their Necks Out For Trump’s New Immigration Plan

Both top Republicans lawmakers issued lukewarm statements following the rollout of President Trump’s new merit-heavy immigration plan, signaling the party isn’t willing to go to task for a immigration bill that hasn’t been written yet and Democrats are describing as “dead on arrival.”

While both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) offered vague support of the plan in statements, the backing was underwhelming.

Stacy Mitchell/Atlantic:

Elizabeth Warren Has a Theory About Corporate Power

The left forgot what Roosevelt knew: Small businesses and corporate behemoths have different interests.

Warren is now advancing a different theory—that big corporations’ political influence and market dominance are killing smaller rivals, and that small-business owners share interests with other victims of corporate power. (Full disclosure: Warren’s team contacted my organization for input on policy proposals. We provided feedback, as we have for other candidates.) While other Democratic presidential hopefuls have questioned the power of the tech giants, Warren’s rhetorical embrace of small business has been emphatic. She is at once bidding for votes that Democrats don’t normally seek and inviting her party to see small businesses in a new light. She’s also reviving what once was a core tenet of her party: In a democracy, a primary purpose for government is to disperse economic power.

WaPo:

Trump judicial nominees decline to endorse Brown v. Board under Senate questioning

For months, a Democratic senator has been asking Trump judicial nominees what appears to be a straightforward question: Was Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark decision that ended legalized school segregation, properly decided?

Legal scholars across the ideological spectrum say the answer is clearly yes. Still, more than two dozen nominees have declined to answer the question at a time when many schools remain segregated by race.

The standoff has come to resemble a serious game of chicken. If the nominees say Brown was correctly decided, are they obligated to opine on more controversial precedents, in particular Roe v. Wade, which established a woman’s right to abortion? Some nominees say the Democratic senators are not content with statements calling segregation immoral.

The other side says the refusal to engage undermines the national consensus around equal protection under the law that underlies Brown.

Timothy L. O’Brien/Bloomberg:

Wouldn’t You Like to Know If Trump Can Be Bribed?

He’s released his personal financial disclosure, but that’s not enough. Releasing his tax returns would be better.

Trump said that Trump National Doral, a Miami golf course that is one of his biggest revenue generators, saw its top line climb slightly to about $76 million – though that figure is well below what the club has said it hoped to take in. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that company documents indicate Doral’s earnings are in a “steep decline” and show more broadly that “the Trump Organization’s problems are bigger than previously known.” The Post reported that a Trump Organization representative “publicly acknowledged the president’s name has hurt business” at Doral.

The Trump brand is wilting further north as well. Bloomberg News reportedon Tuesday that Trump Tower, a signature Manhattan property that the president has prized for decades, has become a dated hulk and one of New York’s least desirable luxury properties. Occupancy rates are down, many condominium owners have taken losses on sales, and the building’s income has dropped substantially over the last several years. A culprit behind those problems? The president himself. “The name on the building became a problem,” one former condo owner told Bloomberg News.

Despite all of this, a key lesson of Trump’s disclosure forms is that they don’t disclose enough. The public still knows very little about how Trump has funded his business and to whom he might be financially beholden. As the forms show, Trump controls a skein of murky financial holdings tucked inside hundreds of shell companies. He can use those shells to insulate his holdings from one another. He also can use them to park loans and debts or steer payments away from prying eyes. (Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, for example, used a shell company to pay hush money to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump.)

Daily News:

Colorado Dem running for president to return campaign donation from Trump-tied meatpacker owned by crooked Brazilians

Sending a message to his Republican colleagues, Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet said Friday he’s returning a donation from a meatpacking company owned by a couple of Brazilian crooks under fire for collecting a $62 million bailout from the Trump administration.

Bennet made the decision in response to a Daily News report this week revealing President Trump’s Agriculture Department has doled out multi-million-dollar taxpayer-funded contracts to JBS USA — a Colorado-based subsidiary of JBS SA, a meat industry giant owned by Joesley and Wesley Batista, a pair of corrupt Brazilian brothers.

The corruption never ends.

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2 Comments on "Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Whether Trump is impeached or not, the public understands the problem"

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Michael owens
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Michael owens

All the American people are going to pay, economically, Socially and culturally for the cowards in Washington.. Trump will destroy your country. He will start a war to deflect from his incompetence . He is an evil man filing The courts and the WH with “Yes Men”…

Elli
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Elli

The whole Republican Party is so corrupt it is disgusting. They all need to be put behind bars for what they have done to this country.