Jeffrey C. Isaac

Jeffrey C. Isaac

Jeffrey C. Isaac is James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. His books include: Democracy in Dark Times (1998); The Poverty of Progressivism: The Future of American Democracy in a Time of Liberal Decline; and Arendt, Camus, and Modern Rebellion.

Articles by this author

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters while departing the White House May 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Japan where, according to the president, he will be the guest of honor at Japan's "biggest event that they’ve had in over 200 years," when he meets with the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and new emperor, Naruhito. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Views
Friday, May 24, 2019
Is Impeachment Really Optional? Sometimes a Strong Offense Is the Only Defense
On Thursday, the White House announced that Donald Trump has authorized Attorney General William Barr to unilaterally declassify any documents necessary to perform an investigation of the Mueller investigation. The New York Times headline accurately summarized the move: “ Trump Gives Attorney...
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 U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the Rose Garden at the White House May 22, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he was engaged in a cover up. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Impeachment Will Succeed If It Demonstrates Very Publicly That Trump Is a Tyrant Unfit for Office and GOP Lawmakers Are His Enablers
The Trump administration continues to refuse all Congressional oversight and make a mockery of the rule of law, while Trump himself continues to denounce the Mueller team and his political opponents as “traitors” and to rally his mobs against “enemies of the people.” Impeachment will draw a line in...
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Trump has been attacking Democrats, and vulnerable populations, and the Constitution, for months now. It is time for the Democrats to fight back. (Photo: Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency) Views
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
How to Move Toward Impeachment, Now
The Trump administration continues to defy Congress and to demonstrate its contempt for constitutional democracy, refusing to share an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report with House committees, citing “executive privilege,” and refusing to comply with a number of lawful subpoenas for information...
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Congressional Democrats, including (L-R) House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), Senate Finance Committee ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), talk to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House April 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Democratic leaders met with Trump to discuss infrastructure. Views
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
When It Comes to Trump, Nancy Pelosi May Be Too Clever for Our Own Good
Last week a New York Times profile of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reported that Pelosi wants the Democrats to “ stay in the center ,” insisting that for the party to succeed in 2020 it must “own the mainstream.” Pelosi, currently the most powerful Democrat in public office, has surely sought...
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Pelosi and Schumer are not serious political leaders. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, May 01, 2019
The New "Infrastructure Deal" Is a Political Disaster
In the past 24 hours four things of direct political importance to the ongoing saga of the Trump Maladministration have occurred: (1) the Barr Justice Department, and the Trump administration more generally, has escalated its battle of wills with the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees,...
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People attend a prayer and candlelight vigil at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church on Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Poway, California. Views
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Trump and the San Diego Synagogue Shooting
My mind was reeling. I was writing a column about Trump’s speech to the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis when I learned of yesterday’s (Saturday) synagogue shooting in California by a white supremacist. The connection between these two events was immediate and obvious to me, as I will...
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Thursday, April 25, 2019
Impeachment as Political Strategy
The argument about impeachment continues, as it should. Earlier this week, I laid out the general case for impeachment. My argument was not ethical or legal, it was political : impeachment is a legitimate constitutional process that ought to be pursued not because it will remove Trump from office...
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Tuesday, April 23, 2019
A Trump Impeachment Has Risks, But They Are Worth Taking
In an ideal world, the thought of impeaching Donald Trump would warrant at least three cheers, along with some somersaults and a marching band (my preference would be for a New Orleans Second Line led by Trombone Shorty). Yet in an ideal world Donald Trump would be nothing but a bad dream. Our...
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Impeachment, then, is an unlikely outcome, unless there are revelations so explosive that they can generate some combination of widespread public outrage and substantial Senate Republican defection from Trump. (Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty) Views
Monday, March 25, 2019
Trump, The Mueller Report, and Democracy
[Note: this piece was filed on Sunday at 2 pm, revised after the release of Attorney General Barr’s letter at 4 pm, and refiled for publication at 6 pm. God only knows what will transpire in the interim.] The issue has always been the need to defend democracy by addressing its weaknesses and limits...
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Monday, March 18, 2019
Neither Debs Nor Brandeis, Or Why It Is a Mistake Now to Exaggerate Differences on the Left
Note: The piece below is a critical response to a recent piece published in Jacobin , the widely-read publication that bills itself as “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture. The print magazine is released quarterly and reaches...
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