The projected Biden-Trump rematch is not merely depressing, it is causing policymakers on the left and the right to abandon good sense. The result? A double-whammy Biden impeachment and Trump constitutional crisis as the country heads into the election season. Is it correct that election officials can disqualify Trump based on the 14th Amendment? Was it really necessary or strategic to begin impeachment proceedings against Biden now? Is our Republic unraveling? This is precisely why Marc and Dany called on Biden to pardon Trump. This is why Abraham Lincoln said that a compass that points true north is only useful if one also knows the terrain we traverse.

Download the transcript here.

In a post-Dobbs political landscape, abortion policy has become the great divider. But disagreements over abortion cannot stifle much-needed conversations about what can be done to support American women, mothers, fathers, and children. To nobody’s surprise, WTH co-host Marc is a conservative. His colleague at the Washington Post Alyssa Rosenberg, is liberal. Together, they undertook the critical task that one might expect from our lawmakers, and put their differences aside to write a productive, respectful, and intelligent guideline for family policies that have been proposed by lawmakers, yet to be passed. They selected policies that did not require them to compromise on their respective positions on abortion, and those that have a serious chance of becoming law if the work is done by Congress. It is a model of good-faith hard work, and the kind that is rare among those who actually make policy – we commend you to read it here.

Alyssa Rosenberg writes about mass culture, parenting, and gender for The Washington Post’s Opinions section. Before coming to The Post in 2014, Alyssa was the culture editor at ThinkProgress, the television columnist at Women and Hollywood, a columnist for the XX Factor at Slate and a correspondent for The

It may not come as a surprise that in much of the developed world, money spent is not necessarily money used well. We have done podcasts on the ideological and political dangers of bad development policy, but the dollar-to-donuts, real practical bent of the conversation is just as important. Because at the end of the day, the international community has come up with many (169) development objectives, most all of them unreachable (we have only met one). Instead of looking at the trajectory of UN sustainable development goals and bemoaning their overreach and underperformance, Bjorn Lomborg presents a realistic re-orientation of priorities. He has whittled the 169 UNSDGs down to 12 actionable steps the international community can take to challenge today’s problems. The goals are straightforward, cost-effective, and good faith – for anyone discouraged by the constant backsliding and bureaucratic stagnation of today, this is a refreshing step forward.

Bjorn Lomborg is the president of the think tank Copenhagen Consensus Center and the former director of the Danish government’s Environmental Assessment Institute. He became internationally known for his best-selling book The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001). Bjorn is listed as one of Time’s 100 most influential people, and his most recent book is Best Things First: The 12 Most Efficient Solutions for the World’s Poorest and Our Global SDG Promises.

The What the Hell crew continues our summer reading series! Our next pick is The Peacemaker: Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, and the World on the Brink. The Peacemaker’s focus is Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy, adding to previous research with recently declassified national security documents. But just as importantly, the history presented reminds us why the challenges we face today – socialism rebranded, struggles for sovereignty in Ukraine and Taiwan – are not novel. In fact, it is pretty simple to guess where Reagan might have stood in 2023. Inboden underscores as well that, contrary to popular opinion, the fall of the Soviet Union under Reagan was never inevitable, but required a real US policy shift. It is worth the read (or, if you are like Marc, the audiobook listen) to remember the cold war muscles the US built not too long ago, or even just to remember what decorum and strength in leadership looks like in government.

Bonus: Reagan’s legacy lives on at the Reagan Institute; listen to our podcast on their summer survey here.

This August, the What the Hell crew brings you a summer reading series! Our first pick is Chip War, a book the NYT hailed as a cross between Mission Impossible and the China Syndrome. Nominally, this is the story of the semiconductor industry, but it is really a forecast of modern grand strategy, great power conflict, and the security of the global economy. It is no mistake that the book’s author, Chris Miller, set out to write a book about military strategy – and then realized that military strategy today is defined by applying advanced chips to systems. Beyond just military however, advanced chips make the world as we know it work. They are in your iPhone, your dishwasher, your car… the list goes on. The clincher? Almost all of these highly technical chips are made in Taiwan – one of the most geopolitically tense areas in the world.

Chris Miller is an Associate Professor of International History at Tufts University and a Jeane Kirkpatrick Visiting Fellow at AEI. He is also the co-director of the Fletcher School’s Russia and Eurasia program and the director of the Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. In addition to Chip War, Miller’s books include We Shall Be Masters: Russian Pivots to Asia from Peter the Great to Putin (Harvard University Press, 2021), Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), and The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). Chris is an alumnus of Harvard College and holds an MA and PhD from Yale.

With the incessant politicization of real foreign policy issues, sometimes it is helpful to go back to the numbers. And in this case, the numbers are detached from the reality that anti-Ukraine Republicans are trying to sell. In fact, a new summer survey from the Reagan Institute finds that a 76% supermajority of Americans, including 71% of Republicans, agree that it is important to the US that Ukraine wins the war. This is not the “Ukraine fatigue” story we have been told. Moreover, support for aid increases substantially when respondents are given more information – where aid to Ukraine is going, how Ukraine has performed on the field. Knowing this, why are our leaders failing to give the America First case for aid to Ukraine?

Roger Zakheim serves as the Washington Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. He previously practiced law at Covington & Burling LLP where he led the firm’s Public Policy and Government Affairs practice group. Before joining Covington he was General Counsel and Deputy Staff Director of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee where he managed the passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. He was also the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.

One of America’s greatest engines of growth is fossil fuels – cheap, reliable energy that jumpstarted the industrial revolution and paved the way for the security and prosperity we enjoy today. Others will not be so lucky. Many African countries lack energy security and are reliant upon foreign aid and international organizations that impose environmentally correct conditions on assistance. Indeed, rather than affording African nations the same pathway to prosperity that Western countries used, the left has decided that ‘what is for me is no longer acceptable for thee’ and is pushing green energy on the African continent. Africans like clean energy as much as the next guy (Kenya has geothermal, Ethiopia has hydro) but others (Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria…) are forced to rely on natural gas. But the future of Africa and engines of growth are uninteresting to climate crusaders, who embrace neocolonialist conditions for aid to Africa, all the while jetting about in private planes. Instead of forcing climate terms on critical Africa assistance programs, as John Kerry is intent upon doing, or degrading the efficacy of the Power Africa initiative, perhaps the US and Europe should focus on alleviating poverty, truthfully.

Todd Moss, formerly Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, is the Executive Director of the Energy for Growth Hub, a fellow at the Center for Global Development, and a nonresident scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute and the Colorado School of Mines. He has a substack called Eat More Electrons.

Last week at the NATO summit in Lithuania, the world watched as Ukraine was denied an actionable plan for membership in the alliance. It was almost a rinse and repeat from 2008, when Ukraine and Georgia pushed for membership, and were offered a similarly passive statement – save for one major exception: today, Ukraine is actively fighting for its life. In fact, Ukraine is doing NATO’s job for it: defending Europe, upholding sovereignty, and keeping Russia’s imperialist ambitions at bay. And, notwithstanding the ire of National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan – who has labeled Ukraine ungrateful — nobody (much less Zelensky) is arguing for membership during a hot war. Ukrainians want a secure plan forward, not a vague and gauzy set of commitments that amount to “maybe.” A roadmap is not actually hard to formulate (Marc and former Deputy Secretary of State Steve Biegun wrote one for Washington Post) so what is the hold-up? Are we really going to let Putin bully 31 (soon to be 32) countries into icing out a staunch ally?

Ambassador Kurt Volker is the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, the former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine. He’s now a distinguished fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis and a founding partner of the American University in Kyiv.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the private military company Wagner Group, staged a rebellion against Putin’s regime in Russia on June 24th. For a brief moment, the Wagner forces took over Rostov-on-Don, and came within 125 miles of Moscow before coming under heavy fire by the Russian military, and turning back. Putin struck a deal with Belarus president Lukashenko wherein Prigozhin was exiled to Belarus in exchange for amnesty. But who is Prigozhin? None other than Putin’s former caterer. If it sounds ludicrous, that’s because it is – and the media is still abuzz with theories as to what happened. Are there cracks in Putin’s regime? What were Prigozhin’s motives? Why the hell did Putin meet with Prigozhin a week after the purported coup attempt? Most troubling of all, US intelligence appears as perplexed as it was on day one.

Yaroslav Trofimov is the Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent of the Wall Street Journal. He covered the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021 and has been working out of Ukraine since January 2022. He previously served as Rome, Middle East, and Singapore-based Asia correspondent, as bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and as a Dubai-based columnist on the greater Middle East. He is the author of two books: Faith at War (2005) and Siege of Mecca (2007).

If you thought the Trump indictment capped the pattern of White House prosecutions, well, you’d be wrong (though see the WTH joint op-ed on how to end the prosecutorial death loop). Now, Hunter Biden has been indicted on misdemeanor charges of tax evasion – news that was decried as a “sweetheart deal.” But a former IRS investigator and FBI officials who came forward to Congress present a government cover-up, from the DOJ disallowing a 2018 investigation into Hunter Biden, to limitations on actually collecting information. And of course, this story has deep roots in 2009, when Joe Biden became Vice President of the United States. At that moment, Hunter set up his “international financial business.”The facts are muddled (no thanks to US institutions charged with un-muddling them) but there remain clear questions that must be answered: from whom did the Bidens receive money, and what was it for?

Peter Schweizer is the president of the Government Accountability Institute and senior editor at Breitbart News. He is the former William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution. His most recent book is Red Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win.

The dictators of the nanny state are waging war on things that work. Daily appliances that make life manageable (your gas stoves, your AC, your lawn equipment) are increasingly under assault, with dubious climate/equity rationales. But the effects on climate are negligible, and the myriad electric substitutions don’t just have environmental costs of their own, many simply don’t work. So what is really going on? Instead of protecting the consumer as these bans claim to do, this new technocratic bullying is imposing a lifestyle brand – electric cars, electric stoves, heat pumps, etc. If you don’t like it… well, you *will* like it. The progressive Puritans will make sure of that.

Noah Rothman is a senior writer at National Review, a former MSNBC commentator, and a former associate editor for Commentary Magazine. He is the author of The Rise of the New Puritans: Fighting Back Against Progressives’ War on Fun.

When the Founders conceived the U.S. Constitution, they were under the assumption that the head of state in America would be guided by honor – that an impeachment would virtually never be necessary, that the shame of the prospect would force the accused to step down from office. That model of leadership with integrity is absent in today’s political climate. In former president Donald Trump’s second, and more serious indictment, he has been charged with 37 counts relating to his retention of classified documents. Yes, Hillary Clinton and Hunter Biden should also be prosecuted – but that does not exonerate Trump. But it is also true that we have never prosecuted Presidents before: not Clinton, not Nixon, not LBJ, not even Jefferson Davis. The DOJ is crossing a line – not a constitutional line, but a “bright line” of institutional practice, as our guest calls it, and that is enormously significant. Where did statesmanship go? Just where will this Trump indictment lead the nation?

John Yoo is a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the former head of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department. He is the Emmanuel Heller Professor of Law at the University of California Berkeley School of Law. He is also a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution. His most recent book is Defender in Chief: Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power.

Over the past 15 months, Ukrainians have surpassed expectations in their response to the Russian invasion, showing valor and resilience. But more than a year into the fighting, many of those who advocate for aid to Ukraine still do so as a matter of idealism. Voters should know that it is also in the United States’ vital national interests. President Biden, our commander-in-chief, has a responsibility to explain to the American people what is at stake in the war in Ukraine: the consequences of failure, the consequences of success, and America’s role. In this special episode of WTH, Dany interviews Marc on his important piece for the Washington Post, where he has collected the 10 strongest arguments for why helping Ukraine will make the United States safer, more prosperous, and more secure.

Download the transcript here.

Last week saw two more entrants into what is already a crowded Republican primary field: Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) are officially in the running. Polling suggests that DeSantis is the only real challenger to Donald Trump, but the party base can only hope that his glitchy Twitter announcement doesn’t belie a deeper weakness in the candidate’s campaign. Tim Scott, by contrast, has embraced a more traditional roll out and uplifting Reaganite rhetoric, but enjoys far less popularity right now. There is a fine line to toe in the Republican primaries – too few challengers may cede the field to Trump; but too many entrants could fracture the non-MAGA voting bloc into ineffective camps, also handing the primaries to Trump. Meanwhile, the Democrats are hedging their bets with a “known known” and sticking with Biden… so is a Trump-Biden rematch inevitable? If not, does the GOP have the political dexterity to capitalize on this unique election cycle and an increasingly diverse voter base?

Josh Kraushaar is the editor-in-chief of Jewish Insider. He is also a Senior Political correspondent at Axios, Fox correspondent, and host of the Against the Grain podcast. Previously, he was Editor in Chief of the Hotline, and a co-author at the Almanac of American Politics.

After four years of work, the Durham Report the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation was released last week. And notwithstanding the objections of the New York Times and other partisans, the report was revelatory: the probable cause for opening the Russia collusion investigation was so flimsy that internal investigators had serious doubts and the Brits refused to even touch the case; the primary source for the famous Steele dossier was Igor Danchenko, previously suspected of working with Russian intelligence; the dossier itself was funded by none other than Hillary Clinton and the DNC. The case is convoluted and so over-saturated with petty politics that even legal experts have a hard time summarizing, but the most important takeaway remains crystal clear: the FBI acted negligently and with extreme political bias in their handling of what came to be called Crossfire Hurricane. How did we end up with institutions charged with fidelity to the law that Americans can no longer trust? Perhaps more importantly: how can we do better?

Andrew McCarthy is a senior fellow at National Review Institute, an NR contributing editor, and the author of Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

It’s a tale as old as time… where will our next trillion come from to feed our hungry coffers? We jest, but only a little: Negotiations on raising the debt limit are ongoing, marking, ahem, dozens of times this has happened under both Democrats and Republicans. Neither party has been able to summon the wherewithal to sacrifice political clout for the good of the long-term economy. Take healthcare spending: Democrats promote top-down, regulatory spending, while Republicans support consumer-based choice and competition. Fine – but costs haven’t been fixed, efficiencies have not been produced, and Medicare has an $80 trillion shortfall over 30 years. Who do we think is going to bail us out? China and Japan hold a measly $2 trillion of our debt and they are selling it; the Fed holds just $5 trillion and they’re trying to downshift. Are we really going to rely on American banks and savers and mutual funds to lend Washington $100 trillion over the next 30 years at low interest rates? It is not even a possible scenario. Our guest predicts that we are on a path that ends in a 15% value-added tax and a payroll tax rising close to 22% – yes, exactly like Europe.

Brian Riedl is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, focusing on budget, tax, and economic policy. Previously, he worked for six years as chief economist to Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and as staff director of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth. From 2001-2011 Riedl served as the Heritage Foundation’s lead research fellow on federal budget and spending policy. He also served as a director of budget and spending policy for Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign and was the lead architect of the ten-year deficit-reduction plan for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

This Thursday, the COVID-era immigration policy Title 42 will expire. Initiated by the Trump administration, it allowed for the expulsion of migrants at the border under a public health directive. It lifts as numbers of encounters at the border continue to skyrocket – instances grew from 646,822 in 2020 to 2,766 in 2022, and have already surpassed 1.544 million this year. These are staggering and historic numbers. Border Patrol cannot handle the sheer quantity, processing centers are overrun and inefficient, legitimate asylum seekers and migrants are being delayed access for years while the US government attempts to handle the illegal entries. Title 42 was not meant to be a sustained solution, but its expiration – without a replacement policy in place – means that this summer will see a humanitarian tragedy at the US southern border. Notably, polls show that the American public is not very divided on this question; by and large, Americans support and encourage legal immigration, and condemn the chaos – the humanitarian disaster, financial confusion, and resource misallocation – that is the result of loose and unserious border policy. And yet, Administration after Administration, Congress after Congress, drags its feet and leaves policy stopgaps to the courts.

Andrew Selee is the President of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a global nonpartisan institution that seeks to improve immigration and integration policies. He also chairs MPI Europe’s Administrative Council. Prior to MPI, Dr. Selee spent 17 years at the Woodrow Wilson Center where he founded the Center’s Mexico Institute, and served as the Center’s VP for Programs and Executive VP. He has also worked on staff in the US Congress, served on the Board of Directors of the YMCA, and is a columnist for Mexico’s largest newspaper El Universal. His most recent book is Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together.

Not only is DEI hiring creating bureaucracy bloat in higher education country-wide, it is beginning to fundamentally alter our institutions. One place where the erosion of excellence is already apparent? Our legal institutions – just last year, 12 Federal Judges boycotted hiring clerks from Yale Law School (some of the crème de la crème of legal education) due to the aspiring lawyers’ inability to practice good faith, unbiased law. And no wonder: The Federalist Society at Stanford Law School hosted Judge Kyle Duncan of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – he was shouted down by a group of students. Our guest Ilya Shapiro was nearly fired for tweeting about Biden’s Supreme Court nominations. We are, as a nation, beginning to forget… this is a representative democracy. We are not governed by a mob. Free speech is a foundational tenet of the Constitution that defines this country and its institutions. College sophomoric groupthink on social issues is one thing; but the next generation of Supreme Court prosecutors already radicalized enough that they are being barred by current sitting judges? That’s quite another problem.

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute. Previously he was executive director and senior lecturer at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, and before that a vice president of the Cato Institute, director of Cato’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, and publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Shapiro is the author of Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court.

The Ukrainians are running out of munitions and the war is predicted to endure past 2023; China is debuting new missiles that have the ability to penetrate US defenses; Egypt Is toying with supporting Russia in attacking Ukraine; ISIS is evolving. These are just a handful of the revelations from the viral Discord leaks, a set of US intelligence documents leaked on the gaming platform Discord and other sites by 21-year-old Jack Teixeira of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Ways to interpret the fallout are manifold, but lessons learned all point back to US responsibility: that Ukraine will face empty bins is a self-fulfilling prophecy that the US can remedy through a revitalization of its defense industrial base. That Taiwan is at enhanced risk of invasion by China every day is only tempered by US willingness to build up Taiwan’s defense and develop a strategic counter-aggression framework. Content aside, that a 21-year-old kid was able to photograph and share US top secret information, and continue sharing it for 8 months – well, it is not a leap to underscore the importance of tightening US intelligence security measures to prevent this from ever happening again.

Marc Polymeropoulos is a nonresident senior fellow in the Forward Defense practice of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Polymeropoulos worked for twenty-six years at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before retiring in July 2019 at the Senior Intelligence Service level. He was one of the CIA’s most highly decorated operations officers. He is the author of Clarity in Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the CIA.

The priorities that have traditionally shaped American national character – patriotism, religious faith, family, community involvement – are no longer as important to most Americans. The Wall Street Journal reported this trend in a viral poll, but the sentiment is believable even without the stark statistics. This poll was conducted in 1989, 2019, and now in 2023, and the only value to go up in importance? Money. Our guest explains that there is necessary context for the reported numbers due to methodology, but the overall trend is undeniable: we are becoming an increasingly selfish country. And what is to blame? Perhaps it is the echo chamber of social media, the decline of serious education, or anti-Western propaganda from our adversaries beginning to define our own national message. In any case, the country is unhealthy. But entirely fixable, and worth fixing.

Patrick Ruffini is a pollster and co-founder of Echelon Insights, a polling and analytics firm. Ruffini began his career working for President George W. Bush, including roles at the Republican National Committee, his re-election campaign, and in his Administration. From 2005 to 2006, he was the lead digital strategist for the RNC. He is the Author of Party of the People: Inside the Multiracial Populist Coalition Remaking the GOP (coming November 2023).