Impeachment, Deval Patrick, Sandy Hook Gun Lawsuit

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Mike, Jay, and Kristin open the show with a discussion of the first week of open hearings on the impeachment of President Trump. Mike argues that it’s clear that Trump ‘did it’ (or at least clear enough to require a vote for impeachment) but that it could be argued that what he did is not cause for removal. Jay and Kristin are less convinced by the evidence presented to this point. They all believe that the most likely outcome is straight party-line votes to impeach and convict, resulting in the acquittal of the president. Mike wishes it would be possible to hear from those closest to the president on this issue, specifically Mulvaney, Bolton, and Giuliani, but he doesn’t think that’s likely. Kristin and Jay would also like to hear from them, but even if they testified that the president attempted bribery, they’re not sure that would justify his removal from office.

Next, they discuss the entry of former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick into the Democratic presidential nomination race, bringing the total number of candidates to 18. Everyone agrees that this is due to Joe Biden’s perceived weakness and the lack of a popular center-left candidate with strong minority support. Patrick faces daunting challenges, but he may be in a position to pick up significant black support should Biden’s campaign implode. Mike half wishes that Barack Obama had endorsed a candidate, but Jay points out that that would be very much going against past precedent, at least in cases where a vice-president isn’t immediately running to succeed the president, as would have happened had Biden run in 2016.

Finally, it’s a look at the Supreme Court’s decision to not take up a ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court that allows families of the Sandy Hook mass shooting to sue the gunmaker who sold the weapon used in the massacre. While they all more or less agree that Supreme Court non-intervention was the right call, Mike goes further and argues against the special carve-out in federal law to protect gunmakers from lawsuits – at least until some counter-arguments from Jay make Mike waver a bit in his commitment to that position.

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