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Why Josh Hawley is Playing the Victim

It’s a substantially flawed case. Hawley, in his New York Post piece, contends that America now has a “social credit score” like Communist China and that citizens are being ranked and punished based on how “woke” they are. “If you want to get a good job, stay at hotels and be served at restaurants, you […]

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Democrats Can Preach “Unity” and Still Kill the Filibuster

Biden has said that his election would help break the fever of Republican extremism, and that once he took office, conservatives would negotiate with Democrats in good faith, hashing out bipartisan compromises to move the country forward. I (and plenty of others) have argued that this was an irresponsible promise. But in Alex Thompson’s Politico […]

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Don’t Worry About Joe Manchin

In fact, for years, the Democratic members of Congress most likely to seek Republican cover for rejecting popular policies, to quietly pursue a monstrous foreign policy, and just as quietly alter legislation to benefit donors, tended to be entrenched incumbents in very safe seats. (This was even truer in the House before left-wing challengers began […]

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The End of the 40-Year War on Government

The war on government also made it possible to reduce non-defense domestic discretionary spending—that is, all government spending except defense spending and “non-discretionary” entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, where anybody who’s eligible receives benefits automatically. Domestic non-discretionary spending represents only about 14 percent of all federal spending, which is why shrinking it has […]

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The Trump Era Was Always Going to End in Violence

In 1955, for example, there was the mind-numbingly fantastical claim that convinced a Mississippi jury to acquit the men who lynched Emmett Till: that the bloated corpse fished out of the Tallahatchie River and wearing Till’s father’s signet ring wasn’t Till at all, who was surely still alive, but actually a cadaver placed there by […]

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This Is Us: Why the Trump Era Ended in Violence

In 1955, for example, there was the mind-numbingly fantastical claim that convinced a Mississippi jury to acquit the men who lynched Emmett Till: that the bloated corpse fished out of the Tallahatchie River and wearing Till’s father’s signet ring wasn’t Till at all, who was surely still alive, but actually a cadaver placed there by […]

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The Military Occupation of D.C. Is a National Disgrace

Four years after Donald Trump’s sparsely attended inauguration, Joe Biden is likely to be sworn in before a crowd of, well, almost no one. Some past presidents will attend—though not Trump—and a few other dignitaries and celebrity performers, but that’s basically it. In response to the January 6 MAGA riot at the Capitol, and amid […]

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I Went to High School With Biden’s Homeland Security Team

Parents, in many cases, held unrealistic goals for their children. The majority of the student body was Jewish, and culturally they were imbued with a deep need for educational achievement. This proved to be a strength as well as a weakness in working with the young people. Those who could succeed intellectually were stimulated for […]

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An Impeachment Trial Will Be Good Practice for Actual Oversight

This is the sort of task Congress likes to believe it is good at, but what it actually tends to be good at in the modern era is asking rambling and disjointed questions at televised hearings that go nowhere. That institutional weakness, a recent book argues, is the inevitable result of Congress spending years disinvesting […]

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The Capitol Riot Revealed the Darkest Nightmares of White Evangelical America

The Cold War anti-communist crusade provided evangelicals with another opportunity to link their religious beliefs with global events. Texas Baptist preacher J. Frank Norris predicted that the “loss” of China to communist forces, and President Truman’s reluctance to escalate the Korean War, revealed that “we have been betrayed. We have been betrayed by our own […]

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Impeaching Trump Is a Pyrrhic Victory

Yes, Trump is now the only president to have been impeached twice. But listening to Democrats and TV pundits crow about that infamous distinction, you get the sense that had the House not acted to impeach Trump, the president would have left office in a blizzard of rose petals. In reality, the Capitol riot on […]

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Republicans Rethink “Law and Order” Once They Become Its Target

In the wake of last week’s Capitol riot, the path to Congress now includes a metal detector. To secure the chamber, Capitol police set up a security checkpoint outfitted with a series of magnometers. Like most people who have ever boarded a plane, attended public high school in the last 20 years, or gone to […]

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Feeling Trump’s Pain

Pierson herself, in her opening remarks, underlined the relevant therapeutic distinctions here: the roused Trump electorate would assert its sovereignty over the faithless DC political class, and would do so in a way that would shame and eclipse the lifeless canons of liberal dissent. “Here’s the deal, guys”—another small but telling tic of the rally’s […]

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Democrats Shouldn’t Just Restore American Democracy. They Should Reinvent It.

The supposed stewards of democracy in our government have made basic civic participation something closer to a luxury good than a universal right. Poverty and racism are clear barriers to voting and running for office; lack of transportation, the fact that elections aren’t national holidays, outright voter suppression, a dearth of public campaign finance laws—all […]

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The $2,000 Checks and Our Failing Vaccine Rollout Have Something in Common

I’m not sure how one precludes the other, but I would be happy to have Senator Manchin explain it to me. That would also give me an opportunity to explain to him how the same instincts that cause him and his moderate cohort to reject a large, universal benefit—the cowering reluctance to consider popular ideas […]

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The Conservative Media Really Wants You to Think the Capitol Riot Is the Left’s Fault

Speaking on Fox News hours after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, a somber Tucker Carlson had a message for his audience: What happened was tragic but it was also understandable—maybe even inevitable. “Millions of Americans sincerely believe the last election was fake,” he said. It’s a message that has aired on Fox […]

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The Violent Crescendo of the MAGA Conspiracies

“For one day, on January 6th, you, Vice President Pence, will be the most powerful man on earth…On that day, you and you alone will have the power to set not just America, but all of humanity free—or you will have the power to sentence us all to slavery.” Thus wrote the anonymous blogger Neon […]

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Trump Is Finally Tearing the GOP Apart

This was, more or less, a take shared by pundits across the political spectrum. Trump was an existential threat to the GOP for two reasons. The first was that he was pursuing an anti–free trade, pro–welfare state agenda that ran counter to the dogmas that had defined the GOP for generations. And the second and […]

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Making Sense of the Facebook Menace

If we want to take seriously the relationship between the global media ecosystem and the fate of democracy, we must think of Facebook as a major—but hardly the only—contributing factor in a torrent of stimuli that flow by us and through us. This torrent is like a giant Facebook News Feed blaring from every speaker […]

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The Perpetual Disappointment of Remote Work

The result was—is—a “homework economy” where work emails announce themselves to be answered at home, on the weekend, and in the evening. Had these futurists paid more attention to the women in their lives (if there were any), they may have been less mistaken. Remote work took a path similar to housework: By the middle […]

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A Pandemic Dividend for Every American

The idea of including citizens in the wealth stream made possible by public investments is, in turn, related to a myriad of proposals for universal basic income popularized by Andrew Yang, Andy Stern, and Peter Barnes. Those ideas source their funds from either the public treasury or, in the case of the Alaskan Permanent Fund […]

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The Future of Trumpism Is Not Josh Hawley. It’s Trump.

Can you imagine Trump taking such a placid, secondary role in public life? All of his moves so far suggest that, at minimum, he wants to remain the axial figure in Republican politics for the foreseeable future. Trump hasn’t yet publicly signaled that he would run again in 2024, of course. Such a move would […]

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How to Fix the House of Representatives

So what would proportional representation look like in practice? Congress could take a few different paths after careful study and deliberation. In 2018, for example, The New York Times backed the use of multi-member districts to elect House members. Voters would cast ballots to elect three or five representatives from their districts on proportional grounds, […]

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The Pragmatism of the Radical Climate Left

There’s little evidence, though, that Republicans are actually interested in taking such measures over the finish line—whatever their ability to actually lower emissions. The Climate Leadership Caucus is a fossil fuel industry-funded carbon tax push fronted by octogenarian Reaganites, and it gets prime op-ed real estate every few months to propose its preferred climate plan, […]

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Mitch McConnell Is Giving Us a Sneak Preview of the Political Hell to Come

President Trump says he wants most Americans to receive $2,000 checks from the federal government. So does the Democratic-led House of Representatives, which voted Monday to bump up the total from $600 per individual, as allocated by the $900 billion pandemic stimulus bill that Trump grudgingly signed on Sunday. Even some Senate Republicans are on […]

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Ron DeSantis Is TNR’s 2020 Scoundrel of the Year

None of this passive culling of the citizenry was done on principle, and it certainly wasn’t done for you. As ever, DeSantis’s only audience was the creature that made him, his Maxi-Me, Donald Trump. If Florida’s governor is, at best, a weather vane that always finds the strongest gust pointing toward Washington, he at least […]

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The Urgent Case for Shrinking the Economy

Attaining the benefits of the post-growth economy would, however, require what the present consumer society considers “sacrifices.” Even as polls show majorities around the world growing skeptical of capitalism, it’s not clear how many of them are ready to give up its superficial pleasures enabled by consumer debt. When Hickel turns to the details of […]

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Operation Santa Is a Horror Story About American Poverty

Thanks to Operation Santa, Vicky, the girl who asked for a new power wheelchair, may be connected with a charitable organization that can help her. Many thousands of poor people will be helped in this way by holiday-season generosity. But the needs of impoverished children can’t be met by charity alone; the scale of poverty […]

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End the Cops’ Cannibalization of Our Budgets

The debate shifts, then, from Is it possible to defund the police? to If we did, what would be possible? Activists in Los Angeles started from there and got their proposed budget on the November ballot, to require that the county allocate at least 10 percent of locally generated revenues be set aside every year […]

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