Tag: media criticism

America’s Post-Trump Delusion Is in Full Swing

Soul-searching, backbiting, recriminations, denunciations: This is the usual stuff of postelection seasons, though few would have predicted a month ago that all of it would be happening on the right. The “Red Wave” many expected never materialized; Republicans might have won the House, but they utterly failed to win it “bigly,” to borrow a term […]

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Why the Right’s Immigration Demagoguery Crashed and Burned in the Midterms

It should be noted too that during the midterm campaign, Republicans were also undone by an anti-immigrant messaging blunder that actually turned the far right’s professed border concerns into a joke. The hysterical warnings that flowed forth from right-wing voices in the media over a bizarre theory that smuggled fentanyl might, for reasons no one ever […]

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Biden’s Democracy Argument Worked

Still, I think a lot could have gone wrong with the way Democrats messaged around a defense of democracy. When Biden trotted out “ultra MAGA” some months ago, I worried he was more likely to energize the opposition than rally his own troops. But more recently, I heard one of Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro’s final […]

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Two Winners in Tuesday’s Election: Liz Cheney and Democracy

In reality, Democrats were most successful in the races where they clearly and consistently articulated the threat of Republican authoritarianism: John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania, Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire, Gretchen Whitmer and Jocelyn Benson in Michigan, Tony Evers in Wisconsin, Steve Simon in Minnesota, and Maggie Toulouse Oliver in New Mexico. Each emerged […]

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Fetterman’s Debate Struggles Provoke Wild Speculation About Hypothetical Voters

WILL IT MATTER? — Voters are not doctors. Many are myopic, distracted, and quick to make judgments with limited information. If there’s one thing everyone knows about campaign debates, it’s how superficial they are. We all remember RICHARD NIXON’s suspicious stubble and GEORGE H.W. BUSH’s impatient glance at his watch and AL GORE’s annoying sighs […]

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The Problem With Herschel Walker and His Republican Enablers Is Not Their Hypocrisy

That’s all to the good, but there’s a more critical matter that’s going uncovered. The rise of unqualified-to-serve politicians in Congress, such as Tommy Tuberville—who couldn’t beat Vanderbilt as head coach of Auburn or name the three branches of government—or potentially Walker, if elected, is also a serious attack on democracy. Walker isn’t a “hypocrite” […]

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The Loneliness of Donald Trump

Naturally, one of the ideas that those chaos agents are raising right now, as the investigations into the former president’s dealings advance on multiple fronts, is that the very act of bringing Trump to justice could plunge the country into turmoil. It’s an argument that Trump, in particular, hopes will be convincing, if only to […]

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What If Ron DeSantis’s Martha’s Vineyard Stunt Wasn’t Actually Good Politics

In this line of thinking, mistreating migrants is good if it moves the electoral needle—maybe doing the right kind of crimes or scandals will help you become president. Cruelty to migrants, in this analysis, is understandable—maybe even defensible—because in the cutthroat world of GOP politics, it’s simply what it takes to succeed. DeSantis wants attention. […]

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Democrats: Steal This Move From Lindsey Graham

[The media is] reacting the way they think they’re supposed to react to maintain [their] “neutral” bona fides—by policing norms and obsessing over how it’ll affect the horserace; by neither validating [nor] invalidating the critique. That’s not to say their reaction is unimportant, if it persists unanswered or successfully drives Democrats into retreat, the idea […]

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The Rise of Right-Wing Hacks in Federal Courts

[In] this new age of legal Calvinball, one side invents new “rules” and then the other scrambles to try to play by them. For every single legal thinker who read the Mar-a-Lago order to mean, quite correctly, that ex-presidents are above the law, furrowing your brow and pointing out its grievous errors only takes you […]

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The Stupid Myth That Mitt Romney’s Mistreatment Gave Us Trump

But politics, as they say, ain’t beanbag; most of this stuff was fairly normal, relative to presidential campaigns. Little of this particularly rose to the level of, say, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. One thing that came close was an egregiously mendacious ad by an Obama-affiliated super PAC that essentially blamed Romney for a […]

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The Media Is Not Ready to Defend Democracy

From the beginnings of his presidential campaign, Biden has endeavored to be as solicitous as possible to the Republican Party, or at least his recollections of it. He was true to form even in this speech. Anyone watching could note his careful needle-threading—evidenced by the repetition of “MAGA Republicans”—and insistence on not labeling every Republican, […]

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It Is Far Too Early to Start Freaking Out About the 2024 Election

And in August of 2006, Barack Obama was winning gushy headlines in for his triumphal visit to his father’s ancestral home in Kenya. The New York Times described the trip in these ebullient tones: “If Senator Barack Obama is ever thinking of running for president—or changing careers to rock star—he got excellent practice in Nairobi […]

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Here’s a Crazy Idea: Maybe Donald Trump Isn’t Fit to Run for Reelection

And then, like an unwelcome delivery from the metaphor store, Biden caught Covid-19. Then he recovered. Then he tested positive again. If it wasn’t for bad luck, Biden would hardly have any at all. Inflation, Ukraine, an economy that seemed poised to lurch into recession—it may have been unfair to fault Biden personally for many […]

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Wait. Jayland Walker Is to Blame, but Somehow Robert Crimo Isn’t?

For example, in response to the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, some right-wing media actively drove a “Black-on-Black” crime narrative in defense of Brown’s killing. There is no such phenomenon as “Black-on-Black crime”—most white murders are intraracial, but no one runs around talking about “white-on-white murder.” The “criminals will have guns” argument […]

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