The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: The United States of Twitter

Twitter power users: more likely women, more likely tweeting about politics. Plus: President Trump tweets he'll challenge any moves to impeach him in the Supreme Court.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

What We’re Following Today

It’s Wednesday, April 24.

(Brendan McDermid)

‣ President Donald Trump said on Twitter that if House Democrats move to impeach him, he’ll challenge their efforts in the Supreme Court. (The Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that impeachment authority lies with Congress and “nowhere else.”)

‣ During her time as the secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen was focused on preparing for new forms of Russian election interference in 2020. She was reportedly told not to bring up her concerns in front of the president.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

Slow-Walking the Investigations: In the past few days, the White House has announced that it would not submit Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, and a former White House official in charge of security clearances did not show up to testify to the House Oversight Committee. Additionally, the president vowed to fight a subpoena from Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler calling on former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify. Trump’s “zero-cooperation policy is unworkable and disconnected from law and precedent,” argues David A. Graham.

This Is Not America: A new study from Pew Research found that Twitter users are statistically younger, wealthier, more highly educated, and more politically liberal than the general population. And the platform’s most active users—such as journalists—use it differently from more casual users: They were much more likely to tweet about politics.

Where Have All the Black Teachers Gone?: Angela Crawford has taught English at one of the most segregated schools in America for 23 years. As a veteran black teacher in Philadelphia, she’s an outlier. Fewer than a quarter of Philadelphia’s public-school teachers are black, down from a third in 2001—but 53 percent of students in the district are black. Nationally, those numbers are no better.


Democratic presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker answers questions during a presidential forum held by She The People at Texas Southern University. (Michael Wyke / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

The President Refuses to Defend the Country (David A. Graham)
“At the moment, Trump is declining to protect the United States from foreign interference in its elections, because it’s politically inconvenient and personally irritating to him.” → Read on.

The Supreme Court’s Death Drive (Garrett Epps)
“On April 1, the Court’s majority rejected a timely plea from a Missouri inmate that his rare health condition—fragile, blood-filled tumors in his face, neck, and mouth—would make lethal injection agonizing. In his opinion for the five-justice majority, Gorsuch was flippant: ‘The Eighth Amendment does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death—something that, of course, isn’t guaranteed to many people, including most victims of capital crimes.’” → Read on.

Can a Witness Wear a Veil on the Stand? (Conor Friedersdorf)
“The trial court decided that Sparks would have to remove her veil in the presence of jurors to testify, but that spectators would be cleared from the courtroom. The right to confront an accuser would be undiluted. The rights to a public trial and the free exercise of religion would be somewhat compromised.” → Read on.

There Are No Permanent Majorities (David A. Graham)
Call it Graham’s rule: Predictions of the collapse or permanent irrelevance of political parties are frequent and also invariably wrong. Not since the 1850s has a major American party gone extinct, and yet prophecies abound year after year.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

When Will Washington End the Forever War? (David Klion, The Nation)
How The Intercept Is Fueling the Democratic Civil War (Steven Perlberg, Politico Magazine)
Are All Democrats Socialist? Don’t Believe the Hype. (Gregg Hurwitz and Jordan B. Peterson, The Wall Street Journal) (🔒 Paywall)
‘Dehumanizing’ Speech Is Still Free Speech (David French, National Review)
Elizabeth Warren Keeps Offering Detailed Policy Proposals. Why Do So Few Democrats Seem to Care? (Nestor Ramos, The Boston Globe) (🔒 Paywall)

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