November 28, 2019

I started these letters completely inadvertently after I happened to see House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff's angry letter to the acting Director of National Intelligence on September 13, demanding that he produce the whistleblower's complaint, as required by law. As a political historian, I saw that for what it was: an accusation that someone in the administration had very clearly broken a specific law. That was huge, way different than the general observation that Trump surely is breaking the emoluments clause of the Constitution because that, for example, is vague enough in terms of legality that it has turned out to be terribly hard to enforce.

Two days later, on September 15, a yellow jacket sting made me cancel my afternoon plans, and as I sat to observe my reaction to the sting, I used the time to write a post on this page, where I have been posting once a week or so for years. That post went sort of crazy, with people asking so many questions that I wrote another, and then another, and this series was born. It is not, by the way, attached to any book; ironically, the timing was terrible because I was finishing another book right then that had nothing to do with impeachment.

So while I do the legwork on this explanation of the Trump administration in these crisis times, the series really belongs to you who read it. It was your voice that created the project, you who inspire me when I am so dead tired I fall asleep sitting up, and you who bring in related material and correct my stupid errors. Above all, it is you who are helping to model what we so desperately need in America: a respectful community based in facts, rather than in anger and partisanship.

I am so very proud of what we are building together here.

Today was quiet enough in political news that there is nothing burning to write about tonight. I'm going to take this holiday night off, and come back tomorrow with a fresh eye.

Goodnight, all. And thank you.