Olivier Jutel (South Pacific): Post-Politics and Psychosis: The Crisis of American Liberalism. Do the Democrats even want power? While the Republican Congress breaks one norm after another, Democrats are mulling ideas that would weaken their future majority. Lily Geismer and Matthew D. Lassiter on why turning affluent suburbs blue isn’t worth the cost. Martin Longman on how there are no perfect political alliances. For Democrats challenging party incumbents, insurgency has its limits. The Democratic Party is moving steadily leftward — so why does the Left still distrust it?

Where is Barack Obama? The most popular American, whose legacy is the primary target of Donald Trump, has, for now, virtually disappeared from public life. Barack Obama is quietly getting into the 2020 race. Do Democrats really need their own Trump? From City Hall to the White House: Why Democrats should take mayors seriously as presidential candidates. Let’s be honest: Running Bernie in 2020 is the best shot the Democrats have at beating Trump. Are Democrats brave enough to run a woman against Donald Trump?

From Russian Analytical Digest, a special issue on agenda and challenges for Putin’s new term. Putin wants a shining legacy — he has to solve three big problems first. Russia’s leader appears to believe his own propaganda: Oliver Bullough goes inside the mind of Vladimir Putin. Did philosopher Alexander Dugin, aka “Putin’s brain”, shape the 2016 election? How Vladimir Putin became the world’s favorite dictator. Russia sanctions the West — hurting its own citizens. Martin Longman on how Russia sunk the West. Is Vladimir Putin’s Russia in decline? We figured out how to measure “national power”.

Sacha Golob (King’s College): Was Heidegger a Relativist? The AT&T–Time Warner merger is already what the government feared: It took only a week for the company to prove its critics right. Why America should pay attention to Turkey’s election result. Mattis is out of the loop and Trump doesn’t listen to him, say officials. Trump’s race-baiting has infested the GOP. What’s the yield curve? “A powerful signal of recessions” has Wall Street’s attention. Suppression of minority voting rights is about to get way worse. How Texas Republicans got away with a racially discriminatory electoral map. Saudi Arabia is about to spend millions to troll Qatar by turning it into an island. Ignacio Delcavoli on evaluating increases in think-tank executive compensation.

Martin Longman on the village rules for Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Sarah Sanders and the failure of “civility”: A little impoliteness could be what America really needs. The irony of Washington’s “civility” debate: Trump already proved that incivility works. Shame is a potent weapon, and it’s little surprise that, even under Trump, people invested in the status quo want those who can wield it to unilaterally disarm. We have a crisis of democracy, not manners. My fascism-enabling friends, this is only the beginning.

Stephen Morgan (Johns Hopkins): Status Threat, Material Interests, and the 2016 Presidential Vote. Nancy LeTourneau on how rogue agents at the FBI influenced the election. If you know the name Peter Strzok, ask yourself why and how. Mueller sees Russian effort to influence 2018 midterms. “The Russians play hard”: Nick Bilton goes inside Russia’s attempt to hack 2018 — and 2020. There’s actually lots of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. George Conway on the terrible arguments against the constitutionality of the Mueller investigation. “Prepared for war”: As Mueller moves to finalize obstruction report, Trump’s allies ready for political battle.

When investigators threatened his power, he declared himself dictator. Trump’s latest and most insane new theory for shutting down Mueller probe. Robert Mueller won’t save us: Only Congress can decide if the president is above the law.

Josh Blackman (South Texas): Defiance and Surrender (“Disputed assertions of power by Washington and his successors in the Early Republic are more probative about the scope of the Foreign Emoluments Clause than voluntary acquiescence by Jackson and post-Jackson presidencies”). Lies, China and Putin: Solving the mystery of Wilbur Ross’ missing fortune. Wilbur Ross’s financial shenanigans should be a massive scandal. The Trump administration’s corruption train rolls on. Corruption in the Trump administration is spreading: While petty scandals like Scott Pruitt’s grab attention, there are more egregious and profitable conflicts of interest elsewhere in Washington. Why do populists frequently get away with corruption? A case study from Europe, with lessons for the United States.