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That debate will not be resolved soon. Meanwhile, the November elections loom on the horizon. If the Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives in November, now deemed more rather than less likely, and vote to impeach the President, as they will almost certainly try to do, even though the Senate is unlikely to vote to remove Trump from office, ugly will turn uglier in an America already “at war with itself”, as Dov Zakheim put it in a recent issue of this journal.

Meanwhile, we can take comfort from Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer’s observation that “at . . . critical junctures, the sinews of our democracy held against the careening recklessness of this presidency”. The courts did not allow Trump’s ill-considered restrictions on Muslim immigrants to take effect; senate support for Attorney General Jeff Sessions prevented Trump from firing him; a threat by his own counsel to resign prevented Trump from firing Robert Mueller III, special counsel investigating possible obstruction of justice and collusion with the Russians during the presidential election; Trump could not persuade the Congress to repeal Obamacare; some of his least attractive nominees for positions in the government could not obtain Senate confirmation and have withdrawn from consideration. Surveying year one of the age of Trump, Krauthammer concludes: “The guardrails of our democracy — Congress, the courts, the states, the media, the Cabinet — were keeping things in bounds.” So far.
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