To Impeach or Not to Impeach?: Atlantic Ideas Editor Yoni Appelbaum argued in the March cover story that the House “must immediately open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump, and bring the debate out of the court of public opinion and into Congress, where it belongs.” Vox Editor at Large Ezra Klein disagrees, arguing that “impeachment will be a partisan war over the president’s removal, and anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.”
Next Stop, America: The writers Deborah and James Fallows are back on the road, documenting politics and daily life in the towns and cities rarely covered by national media organizations. Follow their travels as part of their Our Towns journey.
Joe Biden arrives at the Wilmington train station in Wilmington, Delaware, after releasing a video announcing his candidacy to be president. (Matt Slocum / AP)
Ideas From The Atlantic
A Republic Too Fractured to Be Funny (Andrew Ferguson)
“Jokes that nearly everyone understands as jokes require shared assumptions, even a broad reservoir of lightheartedness and goodwill, and we no longer share those in our fractured republic. Humor has been privatized.” → Read on.
Unlike His Rivals, Biden Sees Trump as an Aberration (Peter Beinart)
“Before Trump, the former vice president implies, a moral consensus reigned. America, he declares, ‘is an idea’—an idea that ‘everyone is treated with dignity,’ and that ‘gives hate no safe harbor’ and ‘instills in every person in this country the belief that no matter where you start, there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you work at it.’ That, Biden explains, is ‘what we believe’—or at least we did, before Trump came along.” → Read on.
A Voting-Rights Debate Reveals Why Democrats Keep Losing (David A. Graham)
“The debate … contrasts the Democratic tendency to focus on national solutions to problems with the Republican emphasis on state-level policy. It shows a Democratic tendency toward abstraction, and a Republican emphasis on action.” → Read on.
Authenticity Just Means Faking It Well (Gilad Edelman)
“Authenticity is not about being honest; it’s about seeming unscripted. If you sound rehearsed, then you can’t possibly be saying whatever you’re thinking right now; you’re saying something you decided to say at some moment in the past. Obama and Trump both have an uncommon ability to avoid that pitfall—even if they do so in very different ways.” → Read on.
Pete Buttigieg Offers America Double Relief (James Kirchick)
“That an openly gay politician can convincingly portray himself as more virtuous than a straight opponent attests to more than just the character of the current president. It shows how dramatically the country’s perception of homosexuality has changed.” → Read on.