It’s Friday, November 22. In today’s newsletter: what are the Democratic voters who made the trek to Capitol Hill for impeachment hearings thinking? Plus, the Medicare for All rallying cry.

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« TODAY IN POLITICS »

People wait in line to get into the hearing room ahead of former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's testimony last week. (JACQUELYN MARTIN / AP)

It’s an unavoidable reality for Democrats in favor of impeachment: President Donald Trump isn’t going anywhere soon. Regardless of how impeachment plays out in the House, the Republican-controlled Senate almost certainly won’t vote to convict him.

Does that mean Democrats are setting themselves up for disappointment? Not exactly, it seems.

My colleague Elaine Godfrey talked to Democratic voters who came to Capitol Hill to see the public hearings in person.

And several of them told her that, even if Trump isn’t removed, impeachment is good for small-d democracy—and the big-d Democratic Party.

“A recon mission to save democracy” — how Melanie Robertson, an architect who traveled from Piedmont, California, just to see the hearings in person, described her trip

“The focus right now isn’t so much on removal itself, but more on the 2020 election. [It’s] to paint a picture [of the president] in the general public’s mind.” — Mason Hill, 22-year-old resident of Washington, D.C.

“The Trump cult can’t be swayed; our side can’t be swayed. So we need to persuade the people who are just living their lives and ignoring the situation ...” — Jenny Braithwaite, a 63-year-old educator

“I’m reassured, that [democracy] in this country is not completely kaput.” —65-year-old Sulyporn Bannon Kulsrethsiri

Read the full piece here.

Saahil Desai

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« SNAPSHOT »

(MANDEL NGAN / GETTY)

In the fall of 2016, the Michigan Republican Party website listed the full name of the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. Today, the RNC website omits her maiden name, and lists her only as Ronna McDaniel. Her uncle? Someone newly quite outspoken.

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« IDEAS AND ARGUMENTS »

Fiona Hill and David Holmes take their seats before a House Intelligence Committee hearing. (ERIN SCOTT / REUTERS)

1. Trump was never concerned about Ukrainian corruption. But he was determined to subvert American democracy, Adam Serwer argues:

The rest of the country, however, should not lose sight of why the president is being impeached, and it is not because of a good-faith dispute over Ukraine policy. Trump and his advisers conspired to rig the 2020 election on his behalf, scheming to defraud the American people of a free and fair election.

Read the rest.

2. How did Medicare for All become a mainstream health care solution to so many Democratic primary contenders? Our health reporter Olga Khazan writes:

In a way, the rallying cry of single-payer harkens back to President Barack Obama’s use of, in the dark days of the 2008 recession, uplifting slogans like “Hope,” “Change,” and “Yes, we can.” Most people didn’t know exactly how “hope” would lead us out of economic gloom. But just as with health care today, they were pretty sure it couldn’t get any worse.

Read the rest.

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« WEEKEND READ »

(MARTYN AIM / CORBIS / GETTY)

ISIS has lost its leader and most of its land, but what comes next could mirror the same steps the insurgent group used to survive and grow after splintering from Al-Qaeda and storming the world stage in 2014, Kathy Gilsinan and Mike Giglio report:

ISIS will probably retain its core in Iraq especially, but in Syria as well—as Zelin noted, the group is comfortable underground in its territory and has survived this way before—with connections to supporters and affiliates around the globe. From there, it can bide its time.

Read the rest here.

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Today’s edition of our daily newsletter of political ideas and arguments was written by Saahil Desai and Christian Paz, and edited by Shan Wang.

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