Abbreviated pundit roundup: Pressure builds for more action from Congress

We begin today’s roundup with Michelle Goldberg’s piece at The New York Times on Congress and its approach to an executive branch acting with impunity:

[H]owever you define constitutional crisis, there’s no question we’re in a moment of constitutional hardball. So far, however, only Republicans really seem to be playing. […] Pelosi is a sharp and pragmatic woman, and her evident belief that impeachment carries strategic risks for Democrats should be taken seriously. But it is incoherent to argue that Trump constitutes an existential threat to the Constitution, and that Congress should wait to use the Constitution’s primary defense against such a threat. Democratic fear of divisiveness — even as Republicans gleefully embrace it — is leading to unilateral political disarmament.

At The Washington Post, Eugene Robinson makes an important point that this is an institutional battle, not a partisan one:

The escalating war in Washington is not between the White House and “Democrats,” despite what President Trump may claim. It is between an arrogant, out-of-control executive and the people’s duly elected representatives in Congress, whose sworn duties transcend politics. There’s a big difference.

Trump tries to drag everyone and everything down to the basest, most transactional level, which is the only level he knows. In his telling, it’s “Democrats” who are demanding to see his tax returns, “Democrats” who want public testimony by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and former White House counsel Donald McGahn, “Democrats” who are holding hearings and issuing subpoenas for the sole purpose of persecuting Donald J. Trump. […] 

The fact that the House of Representatives is currently controlled by the Democratic Party instead of the Republican Party does not alter its responsibilities — or mitigate its powers.

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