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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Forget your personal political views for one minute. It’s hard to argue politics — White House politics, congressional politics, now Supreme Court politics — hasn't gone full crazy.

Be smart: Democracy isn't just messy — it’s dirty. And getting dirtier. 

  • You have virtually the entire Democratic Party believing the Republican nominee for the Supreme Court was a predator.
  • You have virtually the entire Republican Party believing two women are making up that they were victims of attempted rape or sexual humiliation — or confused about who actually did it. 
  • You have the White House putting Brett Kavanaugh on Fox News to proclaim his innocence, in what's apparently the first TV interview of a Supreme Court nominee.
  • You have him needlessly explaining in that interview that he was a virgin in high school, and for "many years thereafter," when none of the allegations involve intercourse.
  • You have the same lawyer, Michael Avenatti, running for president against Trump, who survived the public airing of a tape in which he talked about grabbing women’s privates and then survived a wave of allegations by other women.

What's next: A public hearing to air all of this, for a panel of partisans on Thursday. 

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.