Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Mark Zuckerberg intends to govern Facebook? What Barack Obama regrets in Obamacare? The dangers Yuval Harari sees in our future? What Michael Pollan learned on psychedelics? The lessons Bryan Stevenson learned freeing the wrongly convicted on death row? The way N.K. Jemisin imagines new worlds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
I have grown obsessed with a seemingly simple question: Does the American political system have a remedy if we elect the wrong person to be president? There are clear answers if we elect a criminal or if the president falls into a coma. But what if we just make a hiring mistake, as companies do all the time? What if we elect someone who proves himself or herself unfit for office — impulsive, conspiratorial, undisciplined, destructive, cruel?
I’ve spent the past few months reporting out a story on that question — a story that is about Donald Trump, sure, but also about the American political system more broadly — and so today, on the podcast, the tables are turned: Sean Rameswaram, the host of Vox's new, soon-to-be daily explainer podcast, interviewed me about “The case for normalizing impeachment.”
The big question here is one that I've been weighing on the podcast in recent months (listen to my second episode with Chris Hayes and you'll hear an early version of it): Are the civic and political consequences of impeachment worse than the consequences of leaving a dangerously unfit president in office? I think I've come to an answer — but it's not the answer I started with. Enjoy!
Suggested books on impeachment:
Impeachment: A Handbook by Charles Black Jr.
Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide by Cass Sunstein
Young Radicals: In the War for American Ideals by Jeremy McCarter
Constitutional Law Stories edited by Michael C. Dorf