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The Enduring Timidity of the Democratic Party

The Democrats are about to blow it. That’s the emerging consensus of the party’s moderates, anyway. Every week brings a new Politico story in which Democrats grouse about the party’s resurgent left wing, warning that its pie-in-the-sky proposals and heterodox rhetoric threaten to squander the party’s hard-earned electoral momentum under President Trump. “As we run […]

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Would the Green New Deal Survive the Supreme Court?

How the United States confronts climate change will be decided whenever the Democratic Party regains control of the White House and Congress. But it may ultimately be Chief Justice John Roberts who decides whether they succeed. Every major Democratic policy would need to survive scrutiny by the justices. So how would the Green New Deal fare […]

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White Nationalism Is an International Threat

On Friday, a gunman stormed a pair of mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, showering worshippers with gunfire, and livestreaming the country’s deadliest mass killing since 1943. “I was able to hear the big sound of the shooting,” one survivor, Mohan Ibrahim, told the Canadian broadcaster CBC. Ibrahim fled through back entrance, people dropping around him. […]

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The Profound Emptiness of Beto O’Rourke

After months spent teasing his supporters and the political media, Beto O’Rourke surprised absolutely no one Thursday when he officially announced his candidacy for president. “We are truly now more than ever the last great hope of Earth,” he said in a video posted on social media, channeling The Lord of the Rings. “At this […]

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The Amnesia of the U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment

“Donald Trump is undermining the rules-based international order.” The Economist’s headline last summer summarized a common refrain within America’s foreign policy establishment. Trump “wants to undo the liberal international order the United States built,” Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution warned on Inauguration Day in 2017. Trump could “bring to an end the United States’ […]

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Beyond Hard Time

On Wednesday, two decisions came down that both have serious implications for the criminal justice system in America. But the reactions to them couldn’t have been more different. Opponents of overly harsh sentencing and wrongful convictions applauded Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to end the death penalty in California, which will shut down the largest Death […]

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Why Animal Rights Is the Next Frontier for the Left

Last December, the Twitter account for the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) set off a full-fledged media furor. The tweet in question set out to enumerate the linguistic sins of “speciesism”—the practice of discriminating against living things based on their species affiliation. “Words matter,” the group wrote, “and as our […]

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The Republicans Are Deficit Hypocrites. The Democrats Should Be, Too.

Barack Obama is dumbfounded. The Republicans harangued him for eight straight years over the federal budget deficit. Now, under President Trump, the deficit is skyrocketing—with nary a peep from the GOP. “This is supposed to be the party, supposedly, of fiscal conservatism,” he said in a speech in September. “Suddenly deficits do not matter, even […]

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Can American Foreign Policy Be Greened?

In the 1977 novel Edith’s Diary, by the great crime writer Patricia Highsmith, Edith is the mother of a dipsomaniacal good-for-nothing who records in her diary not the truth about her son but, instead, the compensatory fantasy that he is a grad student in engineering, the husband of a charming wife, and father to a pair […]

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The Branding of Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo loved hot pink lipstick, the color of crushed hibiscus blossoms, of flor de Jamaica, of bougainvillea vines crawling over stucco walls. Her chosen shade, at least later in her life, was Revlon’s “Everything’s Rosy,” which she purchased in golden bullet tubes in the 1940s, after Revlon opened a manufacturing plant in Mexico. Kahlo […]

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The Trudeau Scandal Happens All the Time in America

The most acute political scandal in North America—the one with the greatest chance of toppling a head of state anytime soon—is occurring not in the United States, but Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is barely hanging on to power after being accused last month of pressuring his attorney general to abandon the criminal prosecution of […]

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How Regime Change Breeds Demagogues

In 1989, citizens rose up and tore down the Berlin Wall. As the people toppled statues of Communist leaders in cities across Eastern Europe and rallied in their central squares, world leaders declared a victory for freedom. Meanwhile, economists from Harvard and experts at the International Monetary Fund intervened with a suite of privatization and […]

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Ilhan Omar’s Victory for Political Sanity

Would House Democrats censure one of their own for daring to suggest that the deep-pocketed fossil fuel lobby buys influence in Congress? What about a member who said the same about Big Pharma? And yet, Democratic leaders on Wednesday were on the cusp of implicitly rebuking U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar for criticizing the pro-Israel lobby’s […]

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The Shameful Campaign to Silence Ilhan Omar

History has been curling back lately in the most uncomfortable ways. Nearly 125 years ago, a French military court convicted the artillery captain Alfred Dreyfus of treason for handing military secrets to the Germans. Dreyfus, who was Jewish, would eventually be exonerated, but not before his case was turned into a national referendum on the […]

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Winning the White House Won’t Fix Our Democracy

There are 14 prominent Democrats who believe they ought to be next president of the United States. As many as a dozen more may join them. But not Eric Holder. Obama’s first attorney general announced on Monday that he had decided against a bid, saying he would instead focus on leading the National Democratic Redistricting […]

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Rescue a Refugee: Get Charged With Trafficking?

The case was sensational. Two young volunteers stood accused of masterminding a massive smuggling operation on the Greek island of Lesvos, innocently disguised as a search-and-rescue NGO.  One, Sarah Mardini, was already famous. She and her sister fled Syria in 2015, and when their dinghy’s motor failed on the sea crossing to Greece, the sisters […]

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How to Save Americans From the Hell of Work

Elite workers are in existential crisis: Their stable, well-paying jobs are making them “miserable.” That’s the takeaway from several recent articles in the (elite) press. In the New York Times Magazine, Charles Duhigg explored the disappointment of latter-day Gordon Gekkos—Duhigg’s fellow Harvard Business School alumni—whose pursuit of wealth has left them hollow. “I feel like […]

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The Sensible Politics of Soaking the Rich

Everybody hates taxes. That’s one of the unalienable truths in U.S. politics, and it’s been proven again as the April 15 filing deadline approaches. A drop in tax refunds this year, caused by the Republican tax cuts in late 2017, has infuriated Americans. My husband and I owed money for the first time ever, and […]

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Can Jeremy Corbyn Save Britain From Brexit?

For most of his career, Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour MP for Islington North since 1983, has been well respected in activist circles and parodied in parliamentary ones. Between 1997 and 2010, under the Labour governments of first Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown, Corbyn voted against his party an unrivaled 428 times. Not that anyone […]

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