What a year this past week has been. If all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players, then who are the protagonists of this summer of discontent? We look at the central figures in a very serious political scandal.
The whistle-blower: The author of a nine-page document that triggered the latest crisis of the Donald Trump presidency is still central to the scandal, still anonymous, and still a singular “they” in public testimony. Call it the not-so-deep-state—or call it revenge of the intelligence nerds, Mike Giglio writes.
Joseph Maguire: The Trump-appointed acting director of national intelligence faced a dramatic, three-hour hearing today in which he walked a tightrope, distancing himself from the White House’s actions while not condemning the president outright, Russell Berman writes.
Senator Elizabeth Warren and her husband, Bruce, inspect apples at Lull Farm in Hollis, New Hampshire.
(Solarseven / Shutterstock)
What happens when normal people begin to meld their identities with those they idolize? James Hamblin explores the theory of identity fusion, which some experts say could explain the cult of personality authoritarian leaders generate.
The idea of fusion might help some people explain how family members or colleagues whom they view as fundamentally good people might seem to suspend their typical sense of morality and do things like downplay Trump’s bragging about groping women; enriching himself at taxpayer expense; defending white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia; or failing to release his tax returns despite multiple promises to do so.
About us: The Atlantic’s politics newsletter is a daily effort from our politics desk. It’s written by our associate politics editor, Saahil Desai, and our politics fellow, Christian Paz. It’s edited by Shan Wang.