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

We have poked the bear (actually a big, fat, orange elephant) and he is now angrier than before. Now we must take him down. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Monday, February 03, 2020
Impeachment Has Always Been More Than Impeachment. And It Still Is.
There was never any doubt that an impeachment of Donald Trump would lead to an acquittal in the supine, authoritarian, Republican-controlled Senate. Never. My very first column on impeachment was published over a year ago: January 7, 2019. Written long before the release of the Mueller Report, “ On...
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The current kerfuffle between Warren and Sanders has almost nothing to do with the real issues at stake in this election and even this primary. (Photo: Joe Skipper/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, January 16, 2020
The Warren-Sanders Squabble is Foolish
I like Elizabeth Warren. I also like Bernie Sanders. On ideological grounds, they are my preferred candidates. Whether either can win remains to be seen. The primary contest is an important “barometer,” though there is no ultimate test beyond winning itself. Warren’s electability argument might be...
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks with reporters during her weekly press conference at the Capitol on July 12, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Views
Wednesday, January 01, 2020
Nancy Pelosi's Leverage over Mitch McConnell
Over the past year I have been a strong and consistent critic of Nancy Pelosi's very cautious approach to the impeachment of Donald Trump. I continue to believe that it was foolish for House Democrats to focus so narrowly on the Ukraine matter, and equally foolish to rush forward to impeachment on...
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 House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) speaking with the press Wednesday after the committee’s hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Views
Saturday, December 07, 2019
Who Is the Audience for the Judiciary Committee Hearing?
What is the purpose and who is the audience for Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee Hearing? The Democrats must do better, for all our sakes. I have long expressed my exasperation with the timid way in which the House Democratic leadership has only reluctantly moved toward impeachment, even in the face...
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Hundreds of activists attend a rally in New York City on October 13, 2019 demanding that Congress fulfill its constitutional duty and impeach President Donald Trump. "Broadening the impeachment makes constitutional sense," writes Isaac, "and it makes political sense, too." (Photo: Gabriele Holtermann-Gorden/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, December 04, 2019
Watergate Teaches Us That Democrats Should Broaden the Impeachment Charges
The Washington Post reports that as House Democrats prepare to move the impeachment process to the Judiciary Committee, they are now quietly debating the possible expansion of impeachment articles beyond Ukraine . That is a very welcome development for two reasons: because Trump’s record of...
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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Some Midday Thoughts About Sondland Testimony and Impeachment
I’ve watched every minute of the public impeachment hearings. I’m watching the Sondland testimony now, as I write. And I’d like to start this brief comment with an observation: anyone who cares about the future of democracy in the U.S. ought to do two things: read today’s Washington Post op-ed by...
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Saturday, November 09, 2019
Impeachment Must Be More Than Impeachment
If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If an avalanche felled the tree, does it make sense to focus only on the fallen tree and to ignore the broader and more terrifying cataclysm that caused it? House Democrats, apparently buoyed by last Tuesday’s...
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), joined by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday October 2, 2019. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Is It Really Smart to Narrow the Impeachment to Just Ukraine?
It was reported this week that Nancy Pelosi has “zeroed in” on a focused impeachment strategy “that will center on a simple ‘abuse of power’ narrative involving the president’s actions regarding Ukraine.” Apparently there remain some wise House Democratic leaders reluctant to narrow the impeachment...
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joins fellow House Democrats to mark 200 days since they passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act with a news conference at the U.S. Capitol September 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. Following the release of a whistle-blower complaint about abuse of power, the House Democratic leadership announced this week that it is launching a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Views
Friday, September 27, 2019
Slow Down. The Case for a Deliberate and Focused Impeachment Inquiry
In most aspects of life it is good to be expeditious. Not all. Think of making love. Or relishing a fine wine or meal. Or enjoying a conversation. There are experiences that ought to be savored. But much of what we do is goal directed, and it typically makes sense to be as efficient as possible in...
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US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, announces a formal impeachment inquiry of US President Donald Trump on September 24, 2019, in Washington, DC. - Amid mounting allegations of abuse of power by the US president, Pelosi announced the start of the inquiry in the House of Representatives, the first step in a process that could ultimately lead to Trump's removal from office. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Two Cheers—Not Three—for Pelosi's Speech on Impeachment
Nancy Pelosi announced late Tuesday afternoon that an official "impeachment inquiry" is under way. It is a sign of how depressing is our politics and how terrifying is Trump that so many commentators and pundits are now beside themselves with glee. "Finally, she has done it!" Yes, finally. After...
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