Keep them tied up in knots, we hope, in 2018. “Eight lawsuits sit in federal court opposing the [voter integrity] commission from plaintiffs including one of the commission’s own members and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. ‘I’m not aware of any presidential commission that has encountered so much litigation from special interest groups,’ [commission ring-leader Kris] Kobach said.”
The courts in 2018 need to clean house. “Chief Justice John Roberts said Sunday that the federal judiciary would assess its own policies for addressing sexual harassment involving judges and court employees, joining a national reckoning that, after exposing sordid activity by Hollywood titans, superstar journalists and elected officials, claimed the career of a prominent U.S. circuit judge.”
They won’t change in 2018; they have to be out-voted. “The defense against cognitive dissonance among Trump’s base has been astounding to watch, but some assumed the fever might break before the 2016 Election or, when that passed, as Trump’s presidency floundered. Those expectations have proven false, and continue to confound as the Mueller Investigation into suspected collusion and obstruction of justice continues to uncover evidence. This troubling scenario has been made possible as Trump’s inoculation of his base, aided by right wing media and voices, continues to build a wall of deniability around his supporters.”
A terrific reason for voting out the GOP House majority in 2018. “Though [Rep. Devin] Nunes has not officially wrested his panel’s Russia probe back from the Republicans he deputized to run it, the chairman’s reemergence as a combative Trump loyalist has raised alarm among Democrats that the future of the investigation may be clipped short or otherwise undermined. Even some of Nunes’s GOP allies have expressed concern about his tactics, prompting rare public warnings that he should temper his attacks on federal law enforcement.” A total disgrace.
In 2018 maybe President Trump will discover the value of democracy, here and abroad. “Iran’s biggest wave of street protests in almost a decade is presenting a mounting challenge to the country’s leadership, as demonstrations mushroomed Sunday despite threats of a government crackdown, pushing the president to appeal for calm.”
Let’s hope our luck holds in 2018. “[T]he apparatus of democratic rule-of-law governance had held up reasonably well so far. Trump aspires to corrupt the Justice Department, but he has not yet managed to corrupt the Justice Department. He aspires to use the FBI to go after his political enemies, but he has not yet managed that either. He aspires to an intelligence community that will validate his premises, but he has not managed to get one. At the end of the day, Trump has not managed to shut down the Russia investigation. He has not managed to fire his attorney general or his deputy attorney general—both of whom he evidently hates. He has not even managed to rid himself of the lowly deputy FBI director, Andrew McCabe—though he so clearly wants that particular scalp—who will retire in March and not be removed before then.”
The United States in 2018 needs to start making life harder for tyrants. “One concrete suggestion is to make clear that companies and countries around the world complicit in Iran’s repressive apparatus—including those providing censorship technology—will face censure from the United States. The United States should also mobilize global partners that do have working relations with Iran—including Europe, Japan, South Korea, and India—to add their voices of concern and condemnation to Tehran’s repression. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has been noticeably silent.” Read the whole thing.
Kori Schake’s advice should be taken to heart in 2018. “The administration is burning through international goodwill, underestimating the value of others giving the United States the benefit of the doubt. The president seems to think there is no downside to calling fundamental and long-agreed-upon elements of the international order and the terms by which America leads it. That is incorrect. More Germans now consider Russia trustworthy than consider the United States to be. That will matter when we ask the German government to do hard things like sustain costly sanctions or go to war by America’s side. The best-kept secret of American hegemony is that most countries actually want us to succeed and help us. If they didn’t, the cost of sustaining the order would skyrocket. The president is removing one of America’s most salient and cost-effective tools: the power of inspiration.”