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The Thing Is Upon Us | Talking Points Memo:

In our system the President holds a bundle of executive powers that are awesome in their scope and largely unshakable without overwhelming opposition in other parts of the government. Which is to say that if his party sustains his rule he can do as he pleases, which is what has happened. Absent that counterforce it can seem unacceptable and unsustainable. But the presidency is a power unto itself and it can go on and on and in fact shape the outside world to its needs.

As soon as President Trump was elected most of the civic carnage of the last four years became inevitable. You drink poison and a series of bad outcomes become inevitable even if they take some period of time to become apparent. It’s like jumping out of a tall building. At first you’re just floating but the outcome is already inevitable.

And now the country has the chance not so much to undo the damage – the work of years or lifetimes – but to avoid making the same mistake a second time. The thing is upon us.