The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: You Beto Believe It

The former El Paso Rep. announced he's running for president. Plus: President Trump said he will veto a resolution to block his national-emergency declaration.

Former congressman Beto O'Rourke (Kathy Willens / AP)

What We’re Following Today

It’s Thursday, March 14.

‣The House voted 420–0 to demand that Attorney General William Barr release Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings and full report to the public once they are completed. During his Senate confirmation hearing, Barr had not committed to making Mueller’s findings public.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

Veto: Twelve Republican senators broke with President Donald Trump to vote for a resolution that blocks the president’s national-emergency declaration to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The resolution passed easily, by a 59–41 vote. Despite ample warning that things wouldn’t go his way, Trump couldn’t really be bothered to sway Republican defectors back to his side. “The result,” writes David A. Graham, “was that the rebels included not just constitutionally focused senators like [Mike] Lee and Rand Paul, and not just moderates like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, but even senators like Mitt Romney, who has been personally opprobrious of the president but generally supports him on policy.”

Trump almost immediately tweeted his plans to veto the measure:

Beto: After much anticipation, the three-term former El Paso Representative Beto O’Rourke finally announced that he’s running for president. Leaning on celebrity, and away from specific policies, O’Rourke’s announcement resembled President Donald Trump’s back in 2015, argues Edward-Isaac Dovere. “There are T-shirts and hats for sale online, with just his first name. It’s not up on hotels or towers anywhere, but there’s no other Democrat running famous enough to be quite such a brand.” But O’Rourke is largely unproven at the national level, and lost his Senate race to Ted Cruz—what makes him the best Democratic choice to challenge Trump in 2020?

Grounded: Fifty countries, including the U.S., have banned or grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft following two deadly crashes. But the Federal Aviation Administration had already rigorously tested the planes’ software—what did it miss?

An American Tradition: The rhetoric of “white genocide” has found new legs in recent years. Adam Serwer revisits the legacy of Madison Grant, whose 1916 book promoted the doctrine of racial purity across globe; Adolf Hitler later called it his “bible.” “The seed of Nazism’s ultimate objective—the preservation of a pure white race, uncontaminated by foreign blood—was in fact sown with striking success in the United States,” writes Serwer.


Beto O'Rourke, the newest entrant to the 2020 presidential race, speaks with locals during a meet and greet at the Beancounter Coffeehouse & Drinkery in Burlington, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

They Bribed College Coaches. I Collected Cans for Cash. (Bobbi Dempsey)
“Our kids had to earn their way into college based on their academic record alone. But the struggle didn’t end there. Once the acceptance letters arrived, we felt the seemingly endless cycle of stress that each new tuition bill brought.”→ Read on.

Why the College Scandal Touched a Nonpartisan Nerve (Yascha Mounk)
“Most Americans believe that the market is an appropriate mechanism for distributing some goods … But most Americans also believe that other goods should not be fully, or even partially, distributed according to pecuniary considerations. If the rich were free to buy a spot on the roster of the New York Yankees, everyone would agree that something had gone seriously wrong.”→ Read on

The Senate Finds Its Backbone (Conor Friedersdorf)
“Skeptics of executive power recognize that the Constitution vests Congress, not the commander in chief, with the prerogative to determine whether the U.S. military participates in a given foreign war.”→ Read on.

The Great Realignment of Britain (David Frum)
“It’s chaos because two key British people do not disagree nearly intensely enough. Prime Minister Theresa May wants the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. And so—probably even more so, and certainly over a much longer span of his political career—does the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.”→ Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Former National Security Agency Directors Say, “What National Emergency?” (Michael Hayden and Matthew G. Olsen, Politico Magazine) 
New York City’s Bail Success Story (Eli Hager, The Marshall Project)
Militias, MAGA Activists, and One Border Town’s Complicated Resistance (Tay Wiles, High Country News)
How the Democrats Are Working to Re-elect Trump (Robert Tracinski, The Bulwark)

And One More Thing ...

The actor Rosario Dawson told TMZ that yes, she is indeed dating the Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker. The Atlantic’s own Franklin Foer examined Booker’s theory of love back in December.

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