Impeachment, Iowa Apps, Barr’s Memo, SOTU

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This week Trey and Ken are joined by Mike and the three begin the show by discussing the final impeachment vote. Ken notes the historic nature of Romney as the first to ever cross party lines for an impeachment vote. Trey argues that Romney is the consistent conservative and both the Republicans and Democratic parties have shifted around him. Mike and Ken counter that Republicans are the party that has far more profoundly shifted. Ken is not surprised, but disappointed, that President Trump was not found guilty. Mike, although he believes President Trump to be guilty, does not agree the President should have been found guilty. For Mike the penalty did not fit the crime.

Next the trio turn to Iowa and the procedural mess that resulted from the use of a new app. All three agree that it might mean the end of Iowa as the first in the nation status. While there are downsides to that, all agree this is generally a positive development if it occurs. The three also address what, if anything, the results mean to an ultimate winner. Ken sticks by his assessment earlier last year that Joe Biden would fade early and never recover. Mike continues to disagree and argues that, while Biden will fade, he has enough momentum to win the nomination.

Then the three turn their attention to Attorney General Barr’s three page memo outlining new rules for investigations of political figures. Specifically the memo gives the Attorney General the power to determine which, if any, political investigations can be undertaken. Ken and Mike generally agree this is evidence of further corruption on the part of the Trump administration. Trey counters that it is perfectly consistent with presidential power to make the determination political and that Ken and Mike would not find it an abuse of power if it was someone other that Barr at the helm.

Finally the trio discuss the State of the Union Address. Here the focus is on the images of the handshake denied and Pelosi’s ripping up of the address itself. Trey worries that these “memeable” moments are all that matters. Further that political communication is primarily about effectively creating such images. Mike agrees to a degree, but Ken doesn’t think such discourse ultimately effects real political outcomes.

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