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The Weekend Politics Thread Tries To Sort This All Out

What a week! Here’s a rundown of some of the stories we talked about lately.

In the nation soon to be formerly known as the UK, all is not well. Theresa May spent all that time negotiating a deal with the EU that will only MOSTLY destroy the British economy, and what did Parliament do for her in return? They overwhelmingly rejected it! The nerve! And just because it would have mostly destroyed the British economy. Picky, picky.

So where to now? It’s anyone’s guess. Best-case scenario (as far as this outsider understands it) is that circumstances force another referendum, Remain wins, and everyone in the world just pretends this whole midlife national crisis never happened. Worst-case scenario is a no-deal Brexit, causing massive economic disruption and all of its attendant misery. That in turn could lead to renewed calls for a break-up of the UK altogether, with Scotland in particular being disinclined to go down with the English ship. In the realm of worst-case scenarios, that sounds pretty darn worst to me, but the British government is still mulling it over. “We’ve read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction – maybe it will be fun!”

In the United States, things are fine. It’s fine. We’re fine. Really! Everything is normal right now, it’s pretty boring, you wouldn’t want to look into it any WAIT PLEASE DON’T LOOK WAIT STOP

Somehow, Donald Trump is still a thing. Every time a new piece of information about his crime-doing is made public, we are shocked anew that all of that crime stuff happened and yet somehow he is still a thing. You’d think we would stop being shocked by now, but the special thing about Trump is that he keeps raising the bar. Always pushing boundaries, a true innovator. We’ve been shocked again this week, not because we’re easily shocked dummies, but because his crimes keep getting worse! His latest masterpiece: possibly, maybe, directing his lawyer to lie to Congress about Trump’s own actions, which is like eight kinds of illegal. The relevant kind here is obstruction of justice, which is an unambiguous basis for impeachment – IF the evidence is there.

Let’s do the forecast thing again: where to now? Best-case scenario is that the evidence Trump committed… just… EVERY CRIME is so overwhelming, Democrats in the House impeach him, his poll numbers reach rock-bottom, and Senate Republicans decide to cut their losses. That would leave us with Mike “Mike Pence” Pence as President for the remaining 2 years of the current term, which nobody wants, but at least he won’t try to sell California to Russia in exchange for bitcoins. Probably. The worst-case scenario is that Trump panics and tries to use his executive authority to destroy judicial and congressional independence, and – this is key – the Republicans do nothing to stop him. So, not far from where we are now.

Now that I think about it, though, that worst-case scenario above is a bit too narrowly focused. After all, Trump could do something next-level stupid, like shut down the government entirely! Oh, right. The shutdown continues, hundreds of thousands of people are working (or not) without pay, and the gradual loss of basic services such as airport security and air traffic control are starting to sting the public at large. It’s a doomed attempt at blackmail to fulfill a ludicrous campaign promise, but that sounds about right for Trump and his enabler in a half-shell, Mitch McConnell, doesn’t it? Apparently Trump plans to yammer some more about it on Saturday. Whatever that ends up being, and whatever else happens in the world of politics that grabs your attention, this is the place to yammer back. Please do not threaten Mayor McSquirrel or any other squirrels. Let’s get to it.