Rep. Elijah Cummings, Turkey’s Invasion, Impeachment, Presidential Contest, Growing Senate GOP Opposition to Trump?

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This week’s show starts with a short tribute to U. S. Congressman Elijah Cummings, who died this week. Both Mike and Jay have positive things to say about Cummings, who was a great fighter for important causes.

Next, they turn to Turkey’s invasion of Syria and the cease fire deal in which Turkey got more or less everything they hoped for in exchange for token concessions. Mike believes this showed horrible judgement on the part of President Trump and that it makes the United States look weak and untrustworthy. Jay mostly agrees, but advances an argument that, if not supporting Trump’s actions, tries to put them in a different and more nuanced context- something he feels has been lacking in many media reports.

After that it’s an update on the impeachment inquiry. Mike defends the process and argues that Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney flat out admitted a political quid pro quo with Ukraine (just not the Biden / Burisma quid pro quo). Jay contends that while corrupt things may have happened, what Mulvaney admitted wasn’t technically a quid pro quo. He also argues that even if House investigators have good reason for closed-door hearings, this makes the investigation appear less legitimate to the public. 

Then it’s a look at the state of the Democratic presidential contest after the recent Ohio debate. Mike & Jay agree that Warren looks like a frontrunner right now (despite Biden still leading her in most polls), with Mike arguing that Pete Buttigieg is well positioned to break out of the pack and move into the top tier currently occupied by Biden, Warren, and Sanders.

The show closes with discussion of the Senate’s failure to override President Trump’s veto of legislation that would have nullified the president’s national emergency at the border with Mexico. This is the second time the Senate has failed to override the president’s veto of this measure, but this time there were 11 Republicans (19 percent of all Senate Republicans) who joined with Democrats in voting against President Trump. Jay thinks that there may be growing GOP congressional opposition to Trump, which comes at the worst possible time, given the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

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