President Donald Trump cannot want war with Iran.

Such a war, no matter how long, would be fought in and around the Persian Gulf, through which a third of the world's seaborne oil travels. It could trigger a worldwide recession and imperil Trump's reelection.

It would widen the "forever war," which Trump said he would end, to a nation of 80 million people, three times as large as Iraq. It would become the defining issue of his presidency, as the Iraq War became the defining issue of George W. Bush's presidency.

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"History is repeating itself, and with a vengeance," John Dean told the judiciary committee, drawing a parallel between Watergate, which brought down Richard Nixon, and "Russiagate" which has bedeviled Donald Trump.

But what strikes this veteran of Nixon's White House is not the similarities but the stark differences.

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"My religion defines who I am. And I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life," said Vice President Joe Biden in 2012. "I accept my church's position on abortion as ... doctrine. Life begins at conception. ... I just refuse to impose that on others."

For four decades, Biden backed the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of the tax dollars of Joe's fellow Catholics to pay for what they view as the killing of the innocent unborn.

Last week, Joe flipped. He now backs the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.

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In 2018, a record turnout of women, minorities and young added 40 House seats to Democratic ranks and made Nancy Pelosi speaker.

This, we were told, is the new diversity coalition -- women, people of color, millennials -- that will take down The Donald in 2020.

So, how has the Democratic field sorted itself out half a year later?

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For a president who won his office by denouncing the Middle East wars into which George W. Bush and Barack Obama plunged the nation, Donald Trump has assembled the most unabashedly hawkish conclave of foreign policy advisers in memory. And he himself seems to concede the point.

If foreign policy were decided by my security adviser John Bolton, the president confided recently, "We'd be in four wars by now."

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Mike Scruggs