The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Less Is Moore

Stephen Moore withdrew his name from consideration for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Plus: Another Democrat (and the second Coloradoan) is running for president.

Yuri Gripas / Reuters

What We’re Following Today

It’s Thursday, May 2.

‣ Attorney General William Barr pulled out of today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.

‣ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Barr of committing the crime of lying to Congress, likely referring to his remarks during an April hearing that he was not aware of any concerns Robert Mueller might have about his summary of the final report.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

Fed Up: The economic commentator Stephen Moore withdrew his name from consideration for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Moore’s withdrawal comes after Hermain Cain’s, who also dropped out after extensive criticism, including accusations of sexual harassment. In Moore’s case, his “crucial flaws were a long record of economic illiteracy and offensive remarks, especially about women,” writes David A. Graham—did anyone bother to vet him in advance?

2020 Watch: Senator Michael Bennet announced that he’s running for president. He’s the second “amiable, mild-mannered, bipartisanship-focused former businessman from Colorado” in the race: Read about the other—and all the dozens of candidates—here.

(David Zalubowski / AP)

+ Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s candidacy has become a bit of a proxy for the biggest question facing Democrats ahead of 2020: Does the party need a nominee best suited to winning back white, working-class voters, or one positioned to mobilize the party’s new alliance of minorities, young people, and women?

+ And if Biden stays at the top of the Democratic heap all through the primaries, President Donald Trump is already preparing his line of attack. What can we expect? Well, writes Peter Nicholas, things are going to get personal.

Banned: Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, have kicked several far-right extremists off their platforms, including Alex Jones of Infowars, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, and Paul Nehlen.

Is Politics Funny Anymore?: Jordan Klepper, the former Daily Show correspondent, joins Edward-Isaac Dovere to discuss the state of political comedy in this week’s episode of Radio Atlantic. Listen here.


(Clodagh Kilcoyne / Reuters)

Representative Steve Cohen hands out Kentucky Fried Chicken during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Ideas From The Atlantic

Bill Barr’s Catastrophic Performance (Benjamin Wittes)
“Not in my memory has a sitting attorney general more diminished the credibility of his department on any subject. It is a kind of trope of political opposition in every administration that the attorney general—whoever he or she is—is politicizing the Justice Department and acting as a defense lawyer for the president. In this case it is true.” → Read on.

Knock Down the House and the Quiet Insurgency of Tears (Megan Garber)
“‘If anything, when you cry, you give away power,’ the TV anchor Mika Brzezinski once put it. But [congressional candidate Amy] Vilela’s tears, in their honesty and unruliness, suggest the opposite dynamic: There is power in open emotion.” → Read on.

Trump’s Stonewall Is Beginning to Crack (David Frum)
“For a president with many guilty secrets, everything turns on the ability to insert delay after delay before ultimate legal defeat. It’s not a great plan. It’s liable to go wrong, maybe catastrophically wrong. At this point, though, it’s all he’s got.” → Read on.

All of the Impeachable Offenses (Quinta Jurecic)
“Any discussion of impeachment that focuses on the Mueller report alone, much less the possible criminal conduct detailed in the report, risks leaving out the obvious. The potentially impeachable offenses committed by the president go far, far beyond the scope of what Mueller investigated.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

DA Former Alt-Right Member’s Message: Get Out While You Still Can (Rosie Gray, BuzzFeed)
Mayor Buttigieg’s Unprecedented Presidential Campaign (Charlotte Alter, Time)
Baltimore Mayor Pugh Resigns After Month on Leave Amid Investigation Into Her Business Deals (Ian Duncan, Jean Marbella, and Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun)

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