Opinion writer

* Rachael Bade and Mike DeBonis have the latest on the impeachment tug of war:

The House on Wednesday voted to kill an impeachment resolution against President Trump, a move likely to rankle the Democratic Party’s liberal base clamoring for the ouster of the president.

The vote was 332-to-95 as House Democratic leaders joined with Republicans to stop the measure. It was a surprising turn and created the unusual optic of Democrats working with the GOP a day after a divided House voted to condemn Trump’s racist remarks....

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has been reluctant to launch an impeachment inquiry, favored a procedural vote to table, or effectively kill, the resolution, avoiding a direct vote on the impeachment articles. Republicans supported Pelosi’s effort, receiving the sign-off from the White House, according a Republican congressional aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private talks.

Like it or not, this will be used as evidence against Pelosi by all the liberals who think she’s being too timid in opposing Trump.

* House Democrats made another move in the oversight area just now:

The House on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General William P. Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for failing to provide documents related to the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, escalating the fight between Democrats and the White House over congressional oversight. ...

After a string of legal defeats, Trump last week abruptly retreatedfrom his efforts to add the question to the census, announcing that he will instead order federal agencies to provide the Commerce Department with records on the numbers of citizens and noncitizens in the country.

But lawmakers continue to demand answers about the motivations behind the administration’s 19-month effort to ask about citizenship status on the decennial survey.

Democrats already won this one, but the more we can learn about this shady rigging effort, the better. -- gs

* Toluse Olorunnipa and Ashley Parker report that the Trump campaign is focused on seeing if they can just repeat the inside straight they pulled out in 2016:

President Trump’s campaign has boasted about efforts to expand the 2020 electoral map and compete in far-flung Democratic territory from Oregon to New Mexico while along the way winning over some of the voters who have been turned off by aspects of his presidency.

But the president has held all of his campaign rallies this year in states he won in 2016 — including Florida and Pennsylvania, with another set for North Carolina on Wednesday night. And he has shown no interest in toning down the incendiary rhetoric that has made him unpopular among black, Hispanic and female voters. Just this week he plunged the nation into another divisive battle over race after saying four minority congresswomen “hate our country” and urging them to leave.

Facing stubbornly low poll numbers, an energized Democratic opposition and the prospect of record-high voter turnout, the campaign is mounting an all-out defensive effort to protect the states Trump won in 2016, while also trying to expand the map, according to campaign officials, Republican advisers and strategists.

The plan includes solidifying and maximizing the support of Trump’s base in a handful of key states while making marginal inroads with some of the constituencies wary of the president, officials said.

I think “marginal inroads” might be a bit optimistic.

* Susan Page reports on a poll showing that most Americans found Trump’s racist tweets offensive, but a majority of Republicans agreed with them.

* A Reuters poll shows that after his racist tweets Trump’s approval rose among Republicans and fell among Democrats and independents.

* Lili Loofbourow examines the pride Trump takes in his own racist incitement.

* Richard Hasen explains how Justice John Paul Stevens was able to use a half-a-loaf strategy for important ends.

* David Drucker reports that even Republicans think Trump’s base strategy may be alienating the voters he’ll need the most in 2020.

* Eric Schmeltzer explains how Democrats often inexplicably talk themselves out of taking on Trump, and why this only works in his favor.

* David Bier explains why Trump’s move to all but end asylum will make the problems at the border worse.

* Steve Benen has a good corrective to Trump’s attack on Democrats for not legislating, documenting that they’ve actually been quite active.

* Paul Brandus puts Trump’s racism in its depressing larger historical context.

* A new Quinnipiac poll in California shows Kamala Harris at 23 percent, Joe Biden at 21, Bernie Sanders at 18, and Elizabeth Warren at 16.

* And Talia Lavin says Jews are tired of being used as shields to justify racism.