The key to holding President Trump accountable is the defeat of congressional Republicans in this year’s midterm elections.
But the key to minimizing the damage he can do until then is working with those same Republicans.
Trump’s decision to fold on family separations at the border is a case study. As subservient to Trump as other Republicans have often been — starting with the Russia investigation — they remain, above all, politicians who want to get re-elected. When they can be persuaded that Trump is doing something so unpopular that it hurts their political standing, they will distance themselves from him. And when they do, they can make it very difficult for him to do what he wants.
“The events of the past week,” the political scientist Yascha Mounk writes in Slate, “make clear that some of the very same people who favor real curbs on migration, and might even cheer the idea of some kind of wall on large parts of the southern border, will not stand for the separation of children from their parents.”
This fight isn’t over, though. Trump appears to be using the crisis — which, of course, he created — to win legal approval to detain entire families for longer than the law currently allows, Vox’s Dara Lind explains. And it remains unclear what will happen to the more than 2,000 children who were previously separated from their parents, as The New Yorker’s John Cassidy writes.
In The Times, Andrew Cuomo, Charles Blow, Nick Kristof and Richard Parker weigh in on the crisis.
‘The threat of this presidency.’ Michael Bloomberg isn’t just a Democrat who pretends to be an independent. Yes, he’s decidedly liberal on some major issues, like climate change and gun control. But he is well to the right of many Democrats on other issues, including education, policing, business regulation and foreign policy. In recent years, he has donated to both Republican and Democratic campaigns.
So why is he giving tens of millions of his dollars to Democratic campaigns this year? Because he understands that this isn’t a normal campaign. It’s not merely about policy issues. It’s about democracy and the rule of law.
Trump rejects some basic American values, and congressional Republicans have made clear that they aren’t going to hold him accountable on many of the biggest issues. Which leaves only the Democrats.
Bloomberg explains: “Congress has essentially stopped acting as a co-equal branch of government, by failing to engage in the kind of oversight of the law that the Constitution requires and the public expects.”
As Joseph Crowley, a Queens Democrat in the House, who speaks regularly with Bloomberg, put it: Bloomberg “recognizes the threat of this presidency.”
I hope that some Republican voters recognize the threat, too.
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