The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Have You Hurd?

Will Hurd of Texas is the latest in a string of retirements House Republicans have had to grapple with recently. Is this a canary-in-the-coal-mine situation?

(Leah Millis / Reuters)
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What We’re Following Today

It’s Friday, August 2.

‣ A New York City judge recommended that the city’s police commissioner fire the police officer who put Eric Garner in a fatal choke hold during an arrest in 2014.

‣ The United States added 164,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

Nomination Tango: President Donald Trump announced that he would drop his plan to nominate Representative John Ratcliffe as the director of national intelligence, saying the process would be “miserable.” David Graham has this argument for why Trump has been having some trouble pushing his nominees through.

Another Republican Exits: Even before Representative Will Hurd of Texas shocked his party Friday with the news that he does not intend to run for reelection, House Republicans already had to deal with seven other retirements, including two of the GOP’s 13 female lawmakers. But this new spate of departures could signal a broader exodus of Republicans frustrated with the president, Russell Berman writes.

“Tired of Being Called Racists”: Despite the president’s most recent attacks and insults, his supporters would like you to know that they are not racists, reports Elaina Plott, who spoke with attendees of the president’s rally last night in Cincinnati: “As speakers mounted their defenses of the president, it seemed apparent that supporters were cheering them on as a means of affirming not just Trump, but also themselves.”


(Bryan Woolston / Reuters)

Protesters hold up signs during a campaign rally for President Trump in Cincinnati yesterday.

Ideas From The Atlantic

Why I Disrupted Trump’s Speech at Jamestown (Ibraheem S. Samirah)
“I am a Muslim, Palestinian, brown-skinned American. If anyone really expected me not to stand up for my own humanity in the face of my oppressor, then really, you were expecting me to accept my own dehumanization and the persecution of millions of others.” → Read on.

The Republican Party Is Losing Its Future (David A. Graham)
“It’s probably not a coincidence that [Will] Hurd’s announcement came after weeks of Donald Trump lambasting minority members of the House of Representatives. There’s practically no room for criticism of President Trump in the Republican Party, but it’s also untenable for African American Republicans such as Hurd to stand by silently while Trump makes these remarks.” → Read on.

Trump Might Make a Big Mistake in Afghanistan (Richard Fontaine)
“The notion of defeating the Taliban and transforming Afghan society expired years ago, and Americans are questioning what they have to show for all the exertion… Yet leaving irrespective of conditions, and simply scratching out the best possible deal on the way out, would risk returning to a situation like that which brought America to Afghanistan in the first place.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Families go deep in debt to stay in the middle class (AnnaMaria Andriotis, Ken Brown, and Shane Shifflett, The Wall Street Journal) (Paywall)

Joe Biden is the reason Obama’s legacy is on trial (Sarah Jones, New York magazine) (Paywall)

Detailed maps of the donors powering the 2020 Democratic campaigns (Josh Katz, K. K. Rebecca Lai, Rachel Shorey, and Thomas Kaplan, The New York Times) (Paywall)

Thirstiness for Jay Inslee is a renewable resource (Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut) (Paywall)

About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writer Elaine Godfrey, with help from Christian Paz. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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