Dan Balz/Washington Post:
Kevin McCarthy turns impeachment into political score-settling
The House speaker directed an impeachment inquiry into President Biden based on “allegations,” making the process a debasement of what was intended to be a constitutional vehicle to remove a president for malfeasance
Now that the inquiry is launched, it could take on a life of its own, in which case it might be difficult to stop before articles of impeachment are introduced. Or the inquiry could run for months without any conclusion, never rising to a formal impeachment proceeding but without anyone calling a halt to it.
McCarthy has claimed the impeachment inquiry is a “natural step” after the work that has been done, but there is nothing natural about this one. It is a political step, one taken under the speaker’s duress. The burden of proof remains with McCarthy and his Republican colleagues.
David French/New York Times:
The Most Interesting Element of the Hunter Biden Indictment
And now Hunter Biden, who bought a gun as a nonviolent, unlawful drug user, is charged under the same federal statute at issue in each of the cases above. Arguably, Biden’s best defense to that charge is to join a host of other criminal defendants by challenging that count under Bruen’s text-and-history test. He just might win — and if he does, he will contribute to the dismantling of a key element of federal gun regulations.
Martin Pengelly/The Guardian:
Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis turns on ‘malignant narcissist’ ex-president
Ellis, one of 18 Trump associates charged in Georgia election subversion case, says she ‘simply can’t support him’ again
[Right-wing host Steve] Deace said: “Before that man [Trump] needs to be president again … [to] escape the quote-unquote, ‘witch-hunts’, that man needs Jesus again because … his ambitions would be fueled by showing some self-awareness. And he won’t do it because he can’t admit, ‘I’m not God.’”
Ellis said Deace had “perfectly articulated exactly how I as a voter feel.” She knew Trump well “as a friend, as a former boss”, she said, adding: “I have great love and respect for him personally.
“But everything that you just said resonates with me as exactly why I simply can’t support him for elected office again. Why I have chosen to distance is because of that, frankly, malignant narcissistic tendency to simply say that he’s never done anything wrong.
“And the total idolatry that I’m seeing from some of the supporters that are unwilling to put the constitution and the country and the conservative principles above their love for a star is really troubling.
“And I think that we do need to, as Americans and as conservatives and particularly as Christians, take this very seriously and understand where are we putting our vote.”
New York Times:
Top Democrats’ Bullishness on Biden 2024 Collides With Voters’ Worries
Party leaders have rallied behind the president’s re-election bid, but as one top Democratic strategist put it, “The voters don’t want this, and that’s in poll after poll after poll.”
From the highest levels of the party on down, Democratic politicians and party officials have long dismissed the idea that Mr. Biden should have any credible primary challenger. Yet despite their efforts — and the president’s lack of a serious opponent within his party — they have been unable to dispel Democratic concerns about him that center largely on his age and vitality.
The discord between the party’s elite and its voters leaves Democrats confronting a level of disunity over a president running for re-election not seen for decades.
Interviews with more than a dozen strategists, elected officials and voters this past week, conversations with Democrats since Mr. Biden’s campaign began in April, and months of public polling data show that this disconnect has emerged as a defining obstacle for his candidacy, worrying Democrats from liberal enclaves to swing states to the halls of power in Washington.
This is a storyline that has to work its way through until they’re bored with this one as well as the others.
The Left of the Right
The first thing to say about the New Right is that it can get weird. Its ranks are composed almost entirely of men. They inhabit a social-media cocoon where they talk a lot about manhood, and strength, and manliness, and push-ups, and masculinity, and virility, and weight-lifting, and testosterone. “Wrestling should be mandated in middle schools,” write Arthur Milikh and Scott Yenor in the collection Up from Conservatism. “Students could learn to build and shoot guns as part of a normal course of action in schools and learn how to grow crops and prepare them for meals. Every male student could learn to skin an animal and every female to milk a cow.”
The second aspect of the New Right that deserves attention is its flirtation with anti-Semitism and racial bigotry. Earlier this year, one of the contributors to Up from Conservatism, the international-relations scholar Richard Hanania, was revealed to have written hateful Internet posts under a pseudonym. The pro-Trump Breitbart reported that Pedro L. Gonzalez, an associate editor at Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture who boosts DeSantis on his social-media account, had a history of anti-Semitism. Around the same time, DeSantis fired speechwriter Nate Hochman, a New Right wunderkind who had promoted an online video that incorporated neo-Nazi imagery.
Rock Hall of Fame ousts Wenner, who issues apology after inflammatory remarks
Jann Wenner, the co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine who also helped found the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, has been removed from the hall’s board after an interview in which he made comments that were criticized as disparaging female musicians and artists of color.
“Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation,” the hall said in a statement released Saturday, which did not provide further details. The decision was announced a day after Wenner’s comments were published in an interview with the New York Times.
And now for something completely different:
Charles P. Pierce/Esquire:
Should 'Meet the Press' Be Having Trump On?
I don't know how you avoid it. Without a decent alternative, this guy may have his party's nomination wrapped up by Easter.
How do you avoid it? Unless one of the dwarf-like contenders suddenly poses a legitimate challenge, this guy may have his party's nomination wrapped up by Easter. His party is as impotent in the face of his challenge to the republic as it ever was. His acolytes are running wild in the House of Representatives and senators like Mitt Romney simply have given up. He's a crook and a liar and more than half a traitor, which means he hasn't changed a bit since the GOP renominated him in 2020. He's also death on a stick for any Republican candidate in any general election, including his own. Can journalism seriously ignore one of the two major party candidates for president?
It's silly to blame Welker and NBC for having him on the air. And it's probably unfair to Welker if she fails to get the former president* to break down and confess as though he were the surprise villain on an old episode of Perry Mason. The only force truly strong enough to bust the whole thing up is the judiciary. That's where the 2024 presidential campaign truly will be waged.
Matt Robison and Rex Huppke: