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  1. The party needs to stop obsessing over moderate swing voters
  2. Meet all the Democratic candidates in the crowded 2020 race
  3. Site Information Navigation
  4. In , All But One State Legislature Is Controlled by One Party

During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we also discussed whether voters are less ideological than people think they are, the ways in which the Electoral College presents a challenge to Democrats winning Presidential elections, and the true lesson of the midterms. Do you think Democrats whose primary desire is to see Trump defeated should be concerned or excited that their party seems to be moving leftward?

The party needs to stop obsessing over moderate swing voters

There are limits. But, generally, the tiny sliver of voters in this country who are still persuadable are not highly ideological people. And those characteristics are authenticity, being a credible agent for change, and empathy. In other words, does this person understand my daily struggles? And a common thread between Obama and Trump was a common touch. Trump still got a lower percentage of the vote than Mitt Romney or John Kerry.

Do you think there is a chance that we over-learn the lessons of a guy who got forty-six per cent? She was viewed not as an Arkansas Democrat but as a Chappaqua Democrat, by When you contrast Arkansas and Chappaqua, are you contrasting economics or culture? The pitfalls in a potential Harris or Warren nomination are several. And that is one area where she probably has room to grow as a candidate.

At this point in , there was a widespread notion that the Republican candidate who wanted to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it was unelectable in a general election. That proved to be false. And we should be careful about making broad pronouncements about platform positions such as Medicare for All or an overhaul of ICE. That may be because the system is unfair, but it seems like you can make an argument that Republicans have more leeway in how they can run.

Meet all the Democratic candidates in the crowded 2020 race

The problem for Democrats is that they could still win five million more votes than Donald Trump and lose the Electoral College. The problem is that trends are benefitting Democrats in states that are not decisive in the Electoral College. Democrats are continuing to gain millions more votes in California. Those trends are not as present in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania.

The question is: Can a more progressive candidate from a coastal state perform well in the middle of the country? And part of why Obama appealed in those [Midwestern] states was that he was a Midwestern candidate.

I believe too much of the media in Washington, D. The reason that, in my opinion, Biden is vulnerable—perhaps more vulnerable than other Democrats in the race [against] Trump—is that I have watched congressional races for the last twelve years, and, over and over again, I have seen candidates with long paper trails and voting records get picked apart for every comment they made twenty or thirty years ago.

Vice President Mike Pence and his official entourage stayed at Trump's resort in Doonbeg, Ireland, over miles away from Dublin, where Pence was to meet government officials.


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Pence claimed the choice was motivated by convenience. And Air Force crew members reportedly patronized a Trump resort in Scotland during refueling layovers, despite cheaper options available nearby. Meanwhile, military officials defended the stay as within military guidelines.


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Now, one incident could be a fluke or mistake; two gets harder to explain; and three looks like a pattern. Trump is impeaching himself. Third, the issue of emoluments and personal enrichment is new. Trump and his defenders have claimed that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is over, and Congress merely wants a " do over.

But the personal enrichment issue is different, and Trump and his supporters cannot credibly claim that the issue already has been addressed. Through the sheer breadth of his conduct, Trump has made the job of imposing accountability a difficult one. Now the House Judiciary Committee is showing a renewed sense of urgency in pushing forward its impeachment investigation. It will do well to pair that drive with a strategic focus designed to expose the misconduct most likely to resonate with the American public. What is the remedy?

While the Constitution defines the term "emoluments," it does not provide any specific remedy for a violation. There is no criminal law punishing violations of the Emoluments Clause. Congress would need to pass a new statute and the President would need to sign it to create a new emoluments-related crime. If, however, prosecutors could show that a president received money from a foreign or domestic government entity in exchange for a promise of some official action -- and no such evidence is currently known -- then existing criminal bribery laws could apply. There is civil litigation pending in federal courts over whether Trump has violated the Emoluments Clause, but it is unclear what remedy a court would have authority to impose.

It is unlikely that a court could or would order Trump to forfeit the presidency, or that such an order would be enforceable. More likely, a court would order Trump to forfeit any profits he has earned during his presidency and possibly to divest his private interest in properties generating revenue in violation of the Emoluments Clause -- though such an order would break new ground and likely end up before the US Supreme Court. Apart from the courts, Congress has the power to investigate potential Emoluments Clause violations and to impeach. Indeed, the House Judiciary Committee will include potential Emoluments Clause violations in its expanding impeachment investigation.

Whether the House takes meaningful action beyond an investigation and proceeds to impeachment is, of course, a separate question. Jeff, Colorado: How would an impeachment inquiry actually work, and would such inquiry help House Democrats get witnesses and documents without as many roadblocks? The House Judiciary Committee's resolution defines not only the substantive scope of an impeachment inquiry but also its governing procedures.

The resolution reportedly would allow the committee either to handle hearings as a full committee, or to designate certain issues to smaller, more efficient sub-committees. The resolution also would permit committee lawyers for both parties to examine witnesses directly, after committee members themselves have finished. And the resolution permits attorneys for the President to file written responses to the committee, and potentially to participate in live hearings.

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Do not expect the White House to play along. Thus far, the White House has followed Trump's " We're fighting all the subpoenas " battle cry, contesting subpoenas on key witnesses, including former White House counsel Don McGahn , former White House communications director Hope Hicks and former White House aide Annie Donaldson -- and fighting to prevent the House from obtaining grand jury materials from Mueller's investigation.

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After all, in the heat of battle, the most brilliant generals are not those who insult the enemy from inside their own tent. It is those who most astutely gauge the troop count, the terrain and quirks of the opposing general. In peacetime, too, in this political moment, the best approach is to learn about what is sometimes the alternative truth in which Fox News watchers live, the class and cultural grievances it appeals to and amplifies, and to understand, as one keeps listening, a curiously hidden moderation in substance and tone.

For starters, Democrats can recognize pieces of common ground where they already exist. But one man I talked with — someone raised on a sugar plantation, retired from a life-long career in oil, a proud member of the Louisiana Tea Party and a Trump supporter — grinned broadly at the mention of Bernie Sanders. Free medical care?

How yawl going to pay for that? A coalition of college Republican clubs recently endorsed a tax on carbon pollution. There are other promising signs of middle ground.

In , All But One State Legislature Is Controlled by One Party

In response to the violence and death in Charlottesville, Virginia, big donors to the feuding parties, George Soros and David Koch, jointly funded the After Charlottesville Project to curb online calls to violence. The New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Texas senator Ted Cruz have co-sponsored a congressional bill preventing lawmakers from entering lucrative second careers as corporate lobbyists. Conservatives and liberals united to push for ex-felons in Florida to win the right to vote in , and, this year to push modest but significant reform of our draconian criminal justice laws through Congress.

Such cross-party diplomats have not misjudged their opposite number — such a good lesson for us all. When Martin Luther King marched from Selma to Montgomery, his fellow marchers included a priest, a nun, two rabbis, a Greek Orthodox archbishop and clergy of many Protestant denominations, black and white. In the long run, major political change virtually always requires rising up to cross a bridge — an urgently needed model for the Democratic party itself today. Topics US politics Opinion.

Democrats Republicans comment.