Maybe the most fundamental truism in American politics is: Don’t make predictions. But, at least in Congress, if you’re trying to figure out which way the political winds are blowing, you could do a lot worse than tracking Congressional retirements.
Last year, more than two dozen Republicans retired, foreshadowing the Democratic blue wave that led to the party claiming 40 seats in the House.
Life in the House can be tough when you’re in the minority—and this wave of retirements seems to indicate that some Republicans have little confidence that their party will recapture the majority in the House anytime soon.
But perhaps the most stunning retirement of them all has been Representative Will Hurd of Texas, the lone Black Republican in the House who, before the MAGA-fication of the GOP, was heralded as the future of the party. If Hurd is no longer the GOP’s future, who exactly is?
Revisiting the UN
(Eduardo Munoz / Reuters)
The gathering of the world’s nations is used to being overshadowed by domestic U.S. politics at this point. The activist Greta Thunberg sailed across the sea for two weeks to speak on climate change. The British effort to leave the European Union stagnates as the deadline ticks closer. Other countries were trying to salvage an Iran deal. But at the UN, crises are relative, Kathy Gilsinan writes.
President Trump seems to have no real impeachment war room. Bill Clinton focused on his day job during the Lewinsky scandal and subsequent impeachment, but Donald Trump’s Twitter screeds show the exact opposite approach, David Frum writes.
Impeachment processes are also about the role of Congress in American governing. “After all, congressional oversight is a critical component of the Constitution’s system of checks and balances,” Brianne Gorod argues, “and if the courts accept the president’s arguments, they would strip Congress of one of the fundamental tools it uses to serve as an effective check on the executive branch.”
‣ Friday, Oct. 4: Trump speaks at the conservative youth group Turning Point USA’s Black Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.
In the year since the deadliest attack on Jews on American soil, the Pittsburgh community of Squirrel Hill struggles with the role of politics in making meaning out of tragedy.
Even the most ardently activist jews in Squirrel Hill hesitate to say it out loud: Judah Samet got used. The 81-year-old Holocaust survivor was featured in national headlines after the shooting because of his narrow miss at the synagogue. He made the news again in February, during the State of the Union, as one of Trump’s invited guests. Memorably, the whole chamber sang “Happy Birthday” to him. “We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed,” Trump said. By attending the speech, Samet effectively acted as a representative of Pittsburgh, lending the president his credibility as a twice-over target of anti-Semitic violence.
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.