The Monday Politics Thread Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., on Sunday downplayed President Donald Trump’s calls for Ukraine and China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, saying that “things happen.”

During an interview with ABC’s “This Week”, host George Stephanopoulos asked Shelby, “Setting aside whether it’s an impeachable offense, do you think it was proper for the president to solicit foreign interference in our election?”

“Well, I don’t know that has been actually proven,” Shelby said.

Stephanopoulos then pointed to Trump’s public calls to have Ukraine and China probe the Bidens over the younger Biden’s business dealings in the two countries.

Shelby said those calls were just political statements.

“I didn’t say it was OK,” Shelby said, adding, “people do things. Things happen.”

It just, you know….happens.

In many ways, the new analytical mode has left us better informed. But it is also driving us mad. For over a year, the Democratic primary had been defined by novel policy proposals and theories of change. Now, electability as a concept, a runaway monster, has torn it all down—not just by seizing much of the oxygen and attention available in the discourse but also, as a second-order impact, by distracting and fueling enmity on the left. Until last week, the debate between supporters of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren had been centered around the records of both candidates, their strategies for achieving their political goals and the substance of those goals themselves, given meaningful differences in perspective on topics like health care and American foreign policy. What we have now is a drearily conventional political slap-fight that grew from competing ideas about who can win the election and how.

Electibility can go hang.