The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: The Clown Car Pulls Up

And 19 Democratic candidates piled out in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, over the weekend. Plus: Trump’s man in Moscow wants out.

Charlie Neibergall / AP

What We’re Following Today

It’s Monday, June 10.

‣ The House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the results of the Mueller report, including testimony from former White House Counsel to Richard Nixon John Dean. (Dean is best known for his participation in and testimony relating to the Watergate scandal, which paved the way for Nixon’s impeachment.)

Here’s what else we’re watching today:

John Dean, the former White House counsel for the Nixon administration, arrives for a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller report. (Andrew Harnik / AP)

‘I Do Stand by It’: Today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing kicked off a process that could lead to the impeachment of President Donald Trump. To the Republican Representative Steve Chabot, it might feel familiar; Chabot is one of two Republicans on the committee who were heavily involved in President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Russell Berman spoke with Chabot about why he thought Clinton was guilty—and why he thinks Trump is not.

A Clown Car: Almost every single Democratic presidential candidate descended on one event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, this weekend, reports Edward-Isaac Dovere. What on earth possessed them to do so? And what kept the current front-runner, Joe Biden, away?

Trump’s Man in Russia …: Might run for governor of Utah, reports McKay Coppins. Jon Huntsman, who has served as ambassador to Russia since 2017, is expected to leave his job by the end of the year and is seriously eyeing a gubernatorial run, sources told Coppins. While ambassadors’ decisions must align with their administrations’, a governor— especially in a state like Utah, which is dominated by a single party—gets far more autonomy.

Men and Abortion Rights: Men have been a staple of the anti-abortion movement for decades—and for just as long, abortion-rights groups have been primarily made up of women. Is that now changing? “As the future of abortion becomes more uncertain, some abortion-rights advocates and groups are actively calling for men to join their fight. Where people disagree is over just what men’s place is in the broader debate—and how large it should be,” reports Ashley Fetters.


The Democratic presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar speaks at a campaign meet and greet in Concord, New Hampshire. (Elise Amendola / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Southern Baptists’ Midlife Crisis (Jonathan Merritt)
“This week, the group gathers in Birmingham, Alabama, exactly 40 years since the Southern Baptist Convention as we know it came into existence. Just like many individuals of a similar age, the denomination is experiencing a bit of a midlife crisis, defined by a lack of purpose and deep internal conflict.” → Read on.

Better Schools Won’t Fix America (Nick Hanauer)
“What I’ve realized, decades late, is that educationism is tragically misguided. American workers are struggling in large part because they are underpaid—and they are underpaid because 40 years of trickle-down policies have rigged the economy in favor of wealthy people like me.” → Read on.

Trump Has Killed Democrats’ Sense of the Possible (Jemele Hill)
“This is perhaps Trump’s most critical victory yet: successfully persuading Democrats—especially African American voters—not just to lower the bar, but to abandon the idea that inclusion and bold ideas matter more than appeasing the patriarchy.” → Read on.

Democrats Are Avoiding the China Question (Peter Beinart)
“The debate the candidates should be having—and media interviewers should be nurturing—is about much more than tariffs. It’s about whether and how to alter the terms of Chinese-American interdependence. Right now, Trump’s efforts to change the relationship seem likely to break Chimerica apart and end globalization in its current form. Yet most Americans haven’t heard a clear Democratic alternative.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Clients of a Colorado Funeral Home Kept Their Loved Ones’ Cremated Remains for Years. Then the FBI Called. (Elena Saavedra Buckley, High Country News)
Life and Debt: Stories From Inside America’s GoFundMe Health-Care System (Jeffrey Young, HuffPost)
Father and Son, Next Door Neighbors in Prison (Kenneth Key and Michael Key, as told to Alysia Santo, The Marshall Project)
Can the Courts Decide Turf Battles Between Congress and the White House? (Kim Wehle, The Bulwark)

And One More Thing …

Starstruck: Last week, President Trump tweeted that NASA should focus on getting to Mars, contradicting his own administration’s plan to land on the moon before 2024. But Trump isn’t the first president to flip-flop on space travel: Please enjoy this short history of presidential interstellar vacillation.

About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writers: Elaine Godfrey, Madeleine Carlisle, and Olivia Paschal. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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