A Disaster for Trump’s Narrative

The White House's paranoia is undermining this administration.

The narrative that has been promoted by President Donald Trump and his allies over the last week has been thus: We are the victims here. According to the president, the congressional and FBI probes into the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election is a “hoax.” Not a hoax, though, are the revelations that Obama administration officials—former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, among them—sabotaged the administration early on by suspiciously “unmasking” Trump advisors inadvertently swept up in surveillance of foreign assets. The president himself speculated that Rice’s actions might be criminal in nature. That’s their case, and it has just been dealt a hefty blow: The original source of that “unmasking” claim, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, has stepped aside from the investigation.

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A Disaster for Trump’s Narrative

Must-Reads from Magazine

PODCAST: Spyfall

Podcast: The confidential informant who came in from the cold.

President Donald Trump has ordered his Department of Justice to investigate the claim advanced by his political allies that Barack Obama’s FBI introduced a “spy” into his campaign in 2016. The COMMENTARY Podcast explores this claim and lays out the timelines, which so often get confused. Who was talking to the Russians and why, and what do we know about how the FBI responded to those revelations? Give a listen and find out.

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The Wedding

Atavism in the human soul.

What is it about royalty that so fascinates everyone else?

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How Minimum Wage Dogmatism Hurts the Disabled

Good intentions, tragic consequences.

Chicago, Illinois — Andy has little time to chitchat. There are hundreds of hot towels to sort and fold, and when that’s done, there are yet more to wash and dry. The 41-year-old is one of half a dozen laundry-room workers at Misericordia, a community for people with disabilities in the Windy City. He and his colleagues, all of whom are intellectually disabled and reside on the Misericordia “campus,” know that their work has purpose, and they delight in each task and every busy hour.

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The Democratic Party Gets Specific at Its Own Risk

Reminding voters what Democratic governance means.

To paraphrase New York Times columnist Ross Douthat (with apologies), the less Republicans do in office, the more popular they generally become. That is, when the GOP exists solely in voters’ minds as a bulwark against cultural and political liberalism, it can cobble together a winning coalition. Likewise, Democrats regain the national trust when they serve only as an obstacle to Republican objectives. It’s when both parties begin to talk about what they want to do with their power that they get into trouble.

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Capitalism: Bad Again After All These Years

Meritocracy is in the eye of the beholder.

A running theme in Jonah Goldberg’s fantastic new book, Suicide of the West, is the extent to which those who were bequeathed the blessings associated with classically liberal capitalist models of governance are cursed with crippling insecurity. Western economic and political advancement has followed a consistently upward trajectory, albeit in fits and starts. Yet, the chief beneficiaries of this unprecedented prosperity seem unaware of that fact. In boom or bust, the verdict of many in the prosperous West remains the same: the capitalist model is flawed and failing.

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